(PatriotWise.com) — The Florida Board of Education announced on Wednesday a new rule that will prohibit federal or state funding to go to diversity, equity, and inclusion programs or activities at public colleges and universities in the state, UPI reported.
The rule would permanently ban the use of state and federal funds for DEI programs in the Florida College System’s 28 schools, including Eastern Florida State College, Florida State College, Indian River State College, and Seminole State College of Florida.
In a press release announcing the rule, Florida’s Commissioner of Education, Manny Diaz, Jr., said that rather than “being corrupted by destructive ideologies,” higher education in the state “must return to its essential foundations of academic integrity and the pursuit of knowledge.”
Diaz said the new rule would ensure that the public college system was not using taxpayer money to support DEI programs and the “radical indoctrination that promotes division in our society.”
The state Board of Education defines DEI as any campus activity, program, or policy that “classifies individuals” based on their race, color, gender, national origin, or any other subgroup while promoting “differential or preferential treatment” of an individual based on those subgroups.
Activist attorney Benjamin Crump blasted the new rules in a post on Twitter, accusing the state of taking “a misguided path of censorship.”
The new rules are the latest action taken by the state as part of SB 266, legislation that was passed by the Florida legislature and signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis in May 2023.
Governor DeSantis has been a vocal opponent of diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, which he has described as “discriminatory initiatives.”
The state Board of Education also announced on Wednesday that it would be replacing the “Principles of Sociology” course with a comprehensive general American history course.
According to the board, the change is aimed at providing Florida college students with “an accurate and factual account” of the country’s history rather than exposing students to radical ideologies that have become “commonplace” in courses like “Principles of Sociology.”
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