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State Funding Toward D.E.I. Initiatives On University Campuses Prohibited By Florida Board of Governors 

The #Florida Board of Governors has voted 15-2 to ban the use of state funding for #Diversity, #Equity, and #Inclusion (D.E.I.) initiatives, as well as "political or social activism" activities on university campuses. This decision will impact all public universities in the state and follows a recent move by the Florida Board of Education to limit public funding for D.E.I. programs and policies in public colleges.

This decision comes almost a year after Governor #RonDeSantis signed Senate Bill 266, which already prohibited universities from using state or federal funds for such programs. The new regulation outlines what constitutes advocacy for D.E.I. and political or social activism and requires institutions to designate an agent to ensure compliance.

D.E.I. is defined in the regulation as any program, campus activity, or policy that classifies individuals based on race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity, or sexual orientation and promotes preferential treatment based on these classifications. Political or social activism is defined as any activity organized to effect or prevent changes to government policy or related to social issues endorsed or promoted by the university.

Governor DeSantis has been at the forefront of efforts affecting D.E.I. and race-related education in Florida. In 2021, he introduced the Stop the Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees (W.O.K.E.) Act, which aimed to restrict race-related curriculum but was blocked by a federal judge in November 2022. The fate of this legislation will be determined in an upcoming bench trial set for October.

The decision by the Florida Board of Governors to restrict state funding for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives, as well as political or social activism on university campuses, is deeply concerning. It represents a significant setback for efforts to create inclusive and equitable educational environments. Such initiatives are essential in addressing systemic inequalities and fostering diversity on campuses. 

Link: ABCNews


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