Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has dealt his most impactful blow yet to "woke" education by signing Senate Bill 266, which prohibits public funding of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in Florida colleges and universities.
Additionally, the bill expands on education reforms sought by Gov. DeSantis, prohibiting "programs, majors, minors, curriculum, and general education core courses that violate Florida law regarding prohibited discrimination," such as Critical Race Theory (CRT).
In the press release, Gov. DeSantis stated that Florida is the #1 state for education for the past seven years, and he remained committed to "ensuring that Florida’s institutions encourage diversity of thought, civil discourse, and the pursuit of truth for generations to come."
"Florida has ranked number one in higher education for seven years in a row, and by signing this legislation we are ensuring that Florida’s institutions encourage diversity of thought, civil discourse, and the pursuit of truth for generations to come," said DeSantis.
DeSantis made further comments at the press event in Sarasota, where he said a fundamental goal of SB 266 was to "reorient our universities back to their traditional mission" of treating people as individuals, "not to try to divvy them up based on any superficial type of characteristics."
Florida Eliminates DEI in Higher Education https://t.co/AAUiXPgqPI
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 15, 2023
DeSantis suggested diversity, equity, and inclusion practices were deceptive, for rather than promoting diverse viewpoints, DEI "is the attempt to impose orthodoxy on the university, and not even necessarily in the classroom, but through the administrative apparatus of the university itself," he stated.
Moreover, he further slammed DEI in its practice, saying it is "better viewed as standing for discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination. And that has no place in our public institutions," DeSantis continued.
In January, DeSantis filed an executive memorandum auditing colleges and universities for DEI in January, and this bill is arguably an evolution of it.
The impact of this bill can easily rival that of the March 2022 Parental Rights in Education bill, which prohibited the teaching of sexual topics in grade school.