Remember when Republicans believed in local control of schools? Those days are over, at least in Florida (and in other states where billionaires and Wall Street titans pour money into school board races to advance privatization).

In Florida, Governor DeSantis has endorsed candidates in more than two dozen local school board elections who are as irresponsible as he is. He can’t bear the possibility that anyone disagrees with him.

He is endorsing candidates who opposed any mask mandates, defying the advice of doctors, scientists, and the CDC.

DORAL, Florida — Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is working to line up a slew of loyalists on school boards across Florida as he seeks a second term in the nation’s third-largest state.

“We need help at the local level,” DeSantis said at a firefighters building before 430 enthusiastic supporters during a campaign event on Sunday. “You guys with your power going out and voting is going to make a huge difference.”

The governor has endorsed 29 conservative candidates ahead of Tuesday’s election for school board races, which typically don’t receive much attention and are technically nonpartisan.

School board members make decisions about spending, schedules, supplies, curriculum, and other matters. But in more than a dozen counties where DeSantis endorsed candidates, school boards defied the governor last fall by obligating students to wear masks.

What we know about DeSantis. He is shrewd. He plays to basic racism, homophobia, and the most extreme rightwing tendencies of voters. He is a bully.