Proposed regulations in Florida target so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs that far-left activists have spent years embedding throughout the state’s education system.
In May, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 266 banning state or federal tax dollars for public colleges and universities from going toward DEI programs or similar forms of radical activism. The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees public universities, and the Board of Education, which is responsible for public colleges, were charged with devising rules and regulations to implement the new law.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, drafts of the new regulations have been shared with universities, and state officials are now waiting for their comment. After an anticipated public comment period, the Board of Governors is reportedly expected to vote on the proposed regulations early next year.
The two-and-a-half-page document outlines the myriad ways the use of state and federal tax dollars would be prohibited. Under the regulations, publicly funded institutions of higher education would be prohibited from using funds “to purchase membership in, or goods and services from, any organization that discriminates on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion.” State-sponsored schools would also not be permitted to engage in “manipulating, or attempting to manipulate, the status of an individual or group to equalize or increase outcomes, participation or representation as compared to other individuals or groups,” a type of discrimination the left advances under the banner of so-called “equity” and affirmative action.
“Advancing the premise or position that a group or an individual’s action is inherently, unconsciously, or implicitly biased,” would also be banned under the guidelines.
Certain “access program” exemptions would exist for limited groups under the framework. Those groups include military veterans, first-generation students, “nontraditional students,” certain transfer students from state community colleges, Pell Grant receivers, students from families considered low-income, and students with “unique abilities.”
Under the regulations, universities would be required to have an “agent” designated to ensure compliance with the new law. Hiring a single administrator to help purge the bureaucratic “equity” mob should save colleges and universities a boatload of money, however, considering the average salary for one DEI director in Florida is $193,450. Florida universities have spent millions on DEI programs every year. According to The Capitolist, a Florida paper covering business, policy, and politics, the University of Florida reportedly spent about $5.3 million on DEI programs, “with nearly $3.4 million coming from the state. The university listed 43 staff positions connected to the efforts.” Total tuition and expenses for in-state students at the school is $23,150.
“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,” DeSantis said upon signing Senate Bill 266. “Florida is taking a stand for empowering students, parents, and educators to focus on creating opportunities for our younger generations.”