On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis intended to prevent state colleges from offering courses in critical race theory, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The Republican governor unveiled the plan as a component of a more comprehensive legislative package about higher education, which is anticipated to be taken up by the GOP-controlled state legislature when its regular session starts in March.
DeSantis, a likely Republican presidential candidate in 2024, has harshly criticized diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and critical race theory, which investigates structural racism.
A method of thinking about America’s history through the prism of racism is called critical race theory.
Academics created it in the 1970s and 1980s in reaction to what they perceived as a lack of racial advancement after the civil rights laws of the 1960s. Its central thesis is that racism is institutionalized across the country’s institutions, serving to uphold the supremacy of white people in society.
DeSantis stated at a news conference in Bradenton that “I think people want to see true academics, and they want to get rid of some of the political window dressing that seems to accompany all this,” adding that DEI and CRT programs would receive “No funding, and that will wither on the vine.”
The governor’s office claimed that by forbidding higher education institutions from utilizing any cash, regardless of source, to assist DEI, CRT, and other discriminatory efforts, the proposal “raises the standards of learning and civil discourse of public higher education in Florida.”
After the DeSantis administration asked state institutions to provide spending data and other information on initiatives relating to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as critical race theory, in late December, the idea was anticipated.
The governor is also pressuring school officials to “realign” curricula so that they emphasize historical accuracy and exclude identity politics.
Although DeSantis’ ideas have not yet been presented as official legislation, the GOP-controlled statehouse frequently seems anxious to implement them.
DeSantis and other conservatives have long contended that diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives are racially biased and divisive.
They are frequently mentioned in opposition to what they call “woke” philosophy in schools.
The governor signed a law known as the Stop WOKE Act, which limits some racial discussions and analysis in workplaces and schools, last year.
The legislation forbids teachings that, among other things, claim members of one race are fundamentally prejudiced or should feel guilty for previous deeds carried out by members of their race.
This month, the DeSantis administration forbade teaching a new Advanced Placement course on African American studies in high schools because it was illegal and historically incorrect.
According to a study by Education Week, at least 25 states have thought about passing legislation or taking other actions to restrict how race and racism can be taught.
Eight states with Republican governors have passed laws or taken other administrative measures to prohibit or restrict the teaching of critical race theory or related ideas.
The restrictions mainly deal with what can be taught in schools.