Florida public colleges ‘permanently’ banned from using taxpayer funds for DEI initiatives

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On Wednesday, Florida’s State Board of Education “permanently” banned public colleges from using taxpayer funds for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

The board’s new rule prohibits state and federal funding from being used to support DEI “programs, activities, and policies in the Florida College System.”

“The Board’s decision will ensure that taxpayer funds can no longer be used to promote DEI on Florida’s 28 state college campuses,” the State Board of Education’s Wednesday press release stated.

The rule defined DEI initiatives as “programs that categorize individuals based on race or sex for the purpose of differential or preferential treatment.”

In addition to implementing the new measure, the board also eliminated the “Principles of Sociology” course, replacing it with a “comprehensive general education core course in American History.” The course aims to teach “an accurate and factual account of the nation’s past, rather than exposing them to radical woke ideologies, which had become commonplace in the now replaced course.”

Florida Commissioner of Education Manny Diaz Jr. called for higher education to “return to its essential foundations of academic integrity and the pursuit of knowledge instead of being corrupted by destructive ideologies.”

“These actions today ensure that we will not spend taxpayers’ money supporting DEI and radical indoctrination that promotes division in our society,” Diaz stated.

During the Tuesday CNN town hall, GOP presidential candidate Florida Governor Ron DeSantis argued that with the way DEI is “actually practiced,” it more accurately stands for “discrimination, exclusion and indoctrination.”

“They say it’s diversity, equity and inclusion, but it’s really very ideological, and they’re trying to impose an agenda,” DeSantis said.

Last summer, DeSantis declared, “As of July 1, DEI is over in the state of Florida.” The governor signed a law in May banning state and federal funding for DEI initiatives in public education.

“We are eliminating the DEI programs,” he stated. “We are going to treat people as individuals.”

Last year, the state’s colleges and universities were mandated by the DeSantis administration to submit reports detailing all DEI and critical race theory spending. The University of Florida was accused of lying to the governor by drastically underreporting its initiatives to “conceal the radicalism inside the campus,” Blaze News previously reported.

Civil rights advocate and attorney Ben Crump, a critic of the board’s decision, wrote on X Wednesday, “We continue to go down a misguided path of censorship in Florida!”

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