Florida’s ban on DEI spending becomes official as DeSantis enacts college reforms - Politico

Colleges and universities in Florida are no longer allowed to spend their cash on most diversity, equity and inclusion programs under a slate of higher education reforms Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Monday to curb “woke” ideology on campuses across the state.

Through the sweeping legislation, Florida’s higher education system is set for significant changes in the coming months, with university leaders poised for a widescale review of courses and majors offered to students.

Several of the measures were requested by the Republican governor, a presumptive presidential candidate who claims some colleges are “pursuing more of an agenda than focusing on academics” and that Florida will purge “niche” subjects like critical race theory and “DEI-infused” coursework from its schools.

The central legislation enacted Monday, FL S.B. 266 (23R), prohibits Florida schools from spending any state or federal funding on most programs or campus activities that advocate for diversity and inclusion policies or promote political or social activism, something specifically asked for by DeSantis.

Under the wide-ranging changes in the bill, Florida is set to undergo a statewide review of college courses and programs for traces of lessons that assert “systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege” are ingrained in American society. It also spurs officials to reconsider what level courses that broach those subjects or “distort significant historical events” should be available to students and could ultimately lead to the “removal, alignment, realignment, or addition” of courses.

The measure builds on last year’s Stop-WOKE Act pushed by DeSantis to restrict how lessons on race and gender can be taught — policies that Florida is currently blocked from enacting as a legal challenge plays out in federal court. Critics contend the bill gives too much power to the state university system’s Board of Governors, which is packed with DeSantis appointees, and “politicizes higher education.”

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Locations: Florida 

People: Ron DeSantis 

Tags: College Political Correctness Legislation Censorship Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Critical Race Theory (CRT) 

Type: Headlines