Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) held a press conference in Bradenton today, and later released a statement regarding the introduction of his agenda for the 2023 Session, particularly his intentions to “further elevate civil discourse and intellectual freedom in higher education.”
Gov. DeSantis is also looking to ban Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Critical Race Theory (CRT) programs within the public school systems, reset scholar’s eyes upon the histories and philosophies of the West, and align the needs of America’s and Florida’s workforce along with the needs of those looking for work.
“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 DeSantis.
According to USNews, the most widely used source for rankings of public universities in terms of prestige, the state of Florida has a school in the top five (The University of Florida), a top-20 school (The Florida State University), and one in the top-50 (University of South Florida).
Alongside the academic prowess of the Florida schools, the in-state tuitions are significantly less in Florida than compared to the in-state tuitions of schools like the University of Georgia or the University of Virginia.
“Under Governor DeSantis’s leadership, Florida’s state university system has remained the number one system for public higher education in America, and a four-year degree has never been more affordable,” said the Chancellor of the State’s University System, Ray Rodrigues. “We applaud the Governor for his commitment to providing our students a high-quality education that focuses on academic excellence and is free from ideological agendas determining what they should learn.”
In congruence with the ending of DEI and CRT in higher institutions, DeSantis’s legislative proposal looks to provide $50 million or more towards STEM-related research.