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DeSantis proposes banning DEI, critical race theory programs from state universities 

February 1, 2023 7:07am

Updated: February 1, 2023 2:34pm

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Tuesday that he plans to prohibit state universities from spending money on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

“It really serves as an ideological filter, a political filter,” the Republican governor said while speaking in Bradenton, Florida.

The proposal, which is part of a larger, higher education legislative package, seeks to prohibit Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and other “discriminatory programs,” by prohibiting universities from funding them, regardless of the source. According to the governor, such a move will cause these programs to “wither on the vine.”

“In Florida, we will build off of our higher education reforms by aligning core curriculum to the values of liberty and the Western tradition, eliminating politicized bureaucracies like DEI, increasing the amount of research dollars for programs that will feed key industries with talented Florida students, and empowering presidents and boards of trustees to recruit and hire new faculty, including by dedicating record resources for faculty salaries,” said Governor Ron DeSantis in a press release

Governor DeSantis has actively opposed schools teaching what he calls liberal ideologies, including critical race theory, sexuality, and identity, in schools. Last year, the governor signed legislation restricting how racism and other aspects of history were taught. 

Earlier this month, the DeSantis administration blocked an Advanced Placement course of African American studies from being taught in high schools after claiming its content was historically inaccurate and violated state law. 

“People want to see true academics and they want to get rid of some of the political window dressing that seems to accompany all this,” DeSantis said.

The legislation is expected to be taken up by the House of Representatives when the regular session begins in March.