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US state suspends scholarships at four schools accepting Chinese propaganda funding

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(TibetanReview.net, Sep24’23) – Taking direct action on schools accepting Chinese government propaganda funding, the office of the US state of Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has on Sep 22 announced the suspension of school choice scholarships to four schools over their alleged “direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”

“Through a thorough investigation, [the Florida Department of Education] has determined that Lower and Upper Sagemont Preparatory Schools in Weston, Parke House Academy in Winter Park, and Park Maitland School in Winter Park have direct ties to the CCP and their connections constitute an imminent threat to the health, safety, and welfare of these school’s students and the public,” reported The Hill Sep 24 quoted a news release from the governor’s office as saying.

The release was also stated to have noted a bill that DeSantis had signed into law in May, barring private schools in the state from “participating in an educational scholarship program” if they are “owned or operated by a person or an entity domiciled in, owned by, or in any way controlled by a foreign country of concern or foreign principal.” The law is then stated to reference a different law that lists China as a “country of concern.”

“The Chinese Communist Party is not welcome in the state of Florida,” DeSantis has said in the release. “We will not put up with any attempt to influence students with a communist ideology or allow Floridians’ tax dollars to go to schools that are connected to our foreign adversaries.”

The four schools are said to be part of “a multi-brand education network” called Spring Education Group. The network has said on the schools’ websites that each is “controlled by Primavera Holdings Limited, an investment firm (together with its affiliates) principally based in Hong Kong with operations in China, Singapore, and the United States, that is itself owned by Chinese persons residing in Hong Kong.”

The report noted that DeSantis had also recently signed bills that ban Chinese citizens from buying land in Florida and make the state’s Department of Management Services “create a list of prohibited applications owned by a foreign principal or foreign countries of concern, including China, which present a cybersecurity and data privacy risk.”

A federal judge denied a request by Chinese citizens to halt the land ownership law back in August.

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