Florida’s Board of Education approved a series of regulations on Wednesday officially prohibiting state colleges from using taxpayer dollars to fund so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, initiatives.
Though euphemistically named, DEI is a poisonous left-wing framework that dismisses merit and instead discriminates based on characteristics such as skin color and sex. Individuals who qualify for a certain position on merit but don’t meet the discriminating entity’s goal of being more “diverse” are often passed over in favor of those who meet institutionally preferred identitarian standards.
The Florida Board of Education’s new regulation uses similar language to define DEI and “prohibits [Florida College System] institutions from using state or federal funds to administer programs that categorize individuals based on race or sex for the purpose of differential or preferential treatment.” The rule specifically defines “federal funds” as monies allocated to “the institution or a direct support organization for an institution” by Congress, including federal student aid. Meanwhile, “state funds” are classified as those provided to colleges “directly or indirectly” by the Florida Legislature.
Wednesday’s rule change came months after Florida Republicans passed legislation banning Florida state universities from using federal or state taxpayer money to subsidize DEI programs and activities. The bill was signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in May, along with an additional measure barring state “institutions from requiring students, faculty, or staff to take political loyalty tests.”
In addition to banning DEI in higher education, the Florida Board of Education approved a motion to replace the course “Principles of Sociology” with a “comprehensive general education core course in American History.” In November, the Florida Board of Governors voted to remove the aforementioned course from the list of classes students can take to complete their general education requirements and replace it with one focused on enhancing civic literacy.
The state ed board argued that doing so will equip students with “an accurate and factual account of the nation’s past, rather than exposing them to radical woke ideologies.”
Like many academic fields, sociology is dominated by leftist ideologues. As City Journal reported last year: “A 1999 study found zero Republicans among more than 60 randomly selected sociologists. A Brookings Institution survey in 2001 found 47 liberal sociologists for every conservative. One in five social scientists identified as Marxists in 2006; among sociologists, the number was one in four.”
“Higher education must return to its essential foundations of academic integrity and the pursuit of knowledge instead of being corrupted by destructive ideologies,” Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. said in a statement. “These actions today ensure that we will not spend taxpayers’ money supporting DEI and radical indoctrination that promotes division in our society.”