Governor Ron DeSantis signs legislation to eliminate DEI bureaucracies in state universities

Photo courtesy of the Office of Governor Ron DeSantis


SARASOTA, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis signed three bills today, two that affect universities and one that will expand workforce education programs. SB 266 prohibits Florida College System institutions, state universities, and their direct-support organizations from spending federal or state dollars to “Advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion [DEI], or promote or engage in political or social activism, as defined by rules of the State Board of Education and regulations of the Board of Governors.”

SB 266 also requires the Board of Governors to review every program at state universities “for any curriculum that violates s. 1000.05 or that is based on theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities.” The bill also requires that university presidents renew their ownership of and accountability for hiring, promoting, and when necessary, disciplining faculty, and establishes the Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education at the University of Florida.

SB 266 also prohibits accreditation agencies from requiring Florida institutions to break state law and empowers university presidents to make all hiring decisions.

On Twitter, the Governor wrote, “As practiced, DEI represents discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination — and this has no place in a public institution.”

HB 931 prohibits Florida’s public institutions from requiring students, faculty, or staff to take political loyalty tests that are used in hiring, promoting, and admissions and requires state universities to establish an Office of Public Policy Events, which will host events and speakers from a range of diverging opinions on public policy issues. Each Office will be required to sponsor at least four events a year.

SB 240, also known as the Reimagining Education And Career Help (REACH) 2.0 Act, expands workforce education programs and increases access to career and technical education (CTE) programs in middle school and high school. The bill also expands the REACH office to create more apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs across the state while also authorizing state universities to create workforce education programs using on-the-job training.

At the middle and high school level, SB 240 requires each school district to ensure that every high school student has access to at least one work-based learning opportunity. The bill also requires school districts to ensure that each high school hosts a career fair during the school year and will allow middle school students who want to continue their CTE education in high school to attend a high school that offers the program, regardless of zip code.

“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 Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida is taking a stand for empowering students, parents, and educators to focus on creating opportunities for our younger generations. I am happy to have worked with the legislature to get this important legislation signed, sealed, and delivered.”

 Ray Rodrigues, Chancellor of the State University System of Florida, said, “Florida’s #1-ranked higher education system must be accountable as good stewards of the significant investment by Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, as well as protect the best interests of our students. Re-orienting our distinguished universities to missions that treat people as individuals, that reward merit and achievement, and center on recruiting excellent faculty while creating the talent pipeline necessary to fuel Florida’s future is critical to our upward trajectory.”

Sen. Keith Perry speaks at the May 15 press conference | From broadcast of the event

Senator Keith Perry said, “This year, we did more public policy benefiting the state of Florida than any time in my career… Thank you, Governor, for all the work you’ve done: for opening up the state, the record funding, the great policies, thank you.”

The Governor also announced his support for budget items included in the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for 2023 for the 12 state universities and 28 state colleges:

  • The GAA includes $100 million to recruit and retain high-quality teachers.
  • The GAA includes $645,000,000 provided for State University System Performance-Based Incentives, an $85 million increase over last year.
  • The GAA includes a $100 million base funding increase for State Colleges to support the 28 Colleges’ further alignment with high-demand workforce pathways.
  • Between the February Special Session and the 2023 GAA, $50 million in increased funding has been allocated for New College that will allow for scholarships, more faculty, and massive campus improvements to help restore New College’s status as Florida’s state honors college.
  • Hallelujah and Amen!
    Get the commie purge rolling before any more minds are wasted! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

  • The gov cleaning up the state. No wonder people want to move here. Where woke goes to die!!

  • Next, get rid of all “chief equity and diversity officers” in educational institutions and in city and county government. These equity “czars” are really just parasites milking the taxpayers’ teat who ensure that no-talent knuckleheads get preferential treatment to placate certain special interest groups, and to manifest the requisite politically correct virtue signaling. Well, it’s not virtuous to waste taxpayers’ money hiring less than mediocre expensive idiots while essential public services are neglected. The exorbitant salaries paid to these equity czars will fill a lot of potholes.

    • What part exactly is racist? And give us an honest answer- did you read the bill or the existing statutes it amends? Or, are you just angry that UF can’t continue to teach (indoctrinate) young white kids that they were born racist and owe for the sins of other white-skinned people?

  • If this clown of a governor thinks this legislation is going to endear him to voters, think again. With every piece of legislation he signs, his chances of ever being POTUS (god forbid) go down significantly.

    • Curious, are you against the part of Section 1000.05(4) which prohibits teaching white kids that they were born racist? Or maybe the part which prevents teaching white kids that they owe something because of things that were done by other white people? Oh, maybe you don’t like subsection 5 which requires schools to adopt measures which increase diversity? Which is it Marge?

  • Will this funding cut affect Poe’s international social studies office? Can they get a grant from a private donor like Soros or Gates instead?

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