DeSantis Makes Big Move on Colleges

Bars diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida, tells complainers to go to Berkeley
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2023 3:01 PM CDT
DeSantis Makes Big Move on Colleges
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a fundraising picnic for U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Sioux Center, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continued his campaign on Monday against what he views as "woke" ideology in the education system. The governor and presumptive 2024 presidential candidate signed into law a measure that prohibits the state's public colleges and universities from spending money on what are known as DEI initiatives, or diversity, equity, and inclusion, reports the Washington Post. "DEI is better viewed as standing for discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination," said DeSantis Monday at New College of Florida in Sarasota.

He also banned courses that, in the law's language, "distort significant historical events," teach "identity politics," or are "based on theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, or privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, or economic inequities," per the Orlando Sentinel. Under the legislation, Florida colleges will have to review courses and majors offered to students and ditch ones that cover what DeSantis deems "niche" areas such as critical race theory. "Florida is getting out of that game," DeSantis said. "If you want to do things like gender ideology, go to Berkeley—go to some of these other places." Some opposing views rounded up in coverage:

  • "The government has no role in banning or censoring subject matter in higher education," says Andrew Gothard, head of United Faculty Florida, which represents faculty members across the state.
  • "It’s basically state-mandated censorship, which has no place in a democracy," says Irene Mulvey, president of the American Association of University Professors.
  • "Indoctrination drives the DeSantis agenda not because he is worried educators are indoctrinating students, but because they aren’t indoctrinating them with HIS ideology," says Democratic state Sen. Shevrin Jones.
(More Ron DeSantis stories.)

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