DeSantis Opens Fire Against DEI Initiatives

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill into law banning public colleges and universities in the state from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion programming.

At a news conference in Sarasota Monday, DeSantis argued that DEI initiatives have beenbetter viewed as standing for discrimination, exclusion and indoctrination and haveno place in our public institutions.

The new law also prohibits the teaching ofidentity politics orcritical race theory in general education courses.

This bill says the whole experiment with DEI is coming to an end in the state of Florida, DeSantis said.We are eliminating the DEI programs.

The bill is part of a larger effort to crack down on what DeSantis has calledwoke indoctrination in schools. In the last two years, state education officials have rejected dozens of mathematics and social studies textbooks for students in K12 schools.

The move has been met with criticism from many corners. Irene Mulvey, president of The American Association of University Professors, said the bill isa fivealarm fire for democracy.

When governors attack DEI efforts, they completely mischaracterize them to create a strawman demon that they now have to do away with, Mulvey said.

The new law in Florida has also been compared to a similar bill being considered in Texas that would ban DEI programs in the state‘s university system.

The bill signing in Sarasota was seen as a particularly pointed move by DeSantis, who has targeted New College of Florida to put it in a more conservative direction. Earlier this year, he appointed six new members to the school‘s board of trustees, putting conservative allies in control of the board.

This latest move by Governor DeSantis has further stoked the ongoing debate about the role of DEI initiatives in higher education and the use of public funds to support them. As the debate continues, Florida‘s public colleges and universities will be barred from spending money on these programs until the law is overturned.


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