Rubio Introduces Higher Education Accreditation Act

Rubio Introduces Higher Education Accreditation Act

“Wokeness should not be mandatory.”

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
June 2, 2023

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) has joined his colleague Rick Scott (R) in pushing back against diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs and affirmative action policies. Rubio and Scott have both introduced the Fairness in Higher Education Accreditation Act.

According to federal law, higher education institutions must be accredited by an agency or by an association that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The lawmakers argue that accreditors have imposed ideological standards that include DEI programs and affirmative action policies. With their Fairness in Higher Education Accreditation Act, the bill would prohibit agencies from considering a higher education institution’s DEI programs and affirmative action policies as the criteria for the accreditation of the school.

In a statement, Senator Rubio urged that “wokeness should not be mandatory.”

Rubio went on to explain that his bill “would protect free speech on college campuses and seeks to prevent a politicized Department of Education from further forcing diversity, equity, and inclusion policies into higher education.”

Scott and Utah Senator Mike Lee (R) are the original cosponsors of the bill, and in a statement, both Republicans praised the legislation.

“We need to make sure that no school is judged based on whether a DEI agenda is used,” Scott shared, noting that what lawmakers care about “is academic success so students can get a great job after graduation.”

Because of this, he praised that Florida “has been ranked $1 for higher education by U.S. News & World Report for six years running.”

Republican lawmakers have ramped up their criticism of the education system, arguing that schools are focusing more of an effort on indoctrinating students as opposed to providing them spaces to learn. With the Supreme Court questioning the legality of affirmative action in Students for Fair Admissions Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, the legislation “would provide a path forward to bolster free speech, and combat wokeness on campus.”

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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