SARASOTA, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed new legislation Monday banning any state or federal tax dollars from going to “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) programs at Sunshine state colleges or universities, the latest in his efforts to purge left-wing indoctrination from education.
Senate Bill 266, one of three education-related bills DeSantis signed in a ceremony at New College of Florida, also “prohibits programs, majors, minors, curriculum, and general education core courses that violate Florida law regarding prohibited discrimination or that are based on theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities,” according to the governor’s office.
“Florida has ranked number one in higher education for seven years in a row, and by signing this legislation we are ensuring that Florida’s institutions encourage diversity of thought, civil discourse, and the pursuit of truth for generations to come,” DeSantis said, according to the New York Post. “Florida is taking a stand for empowering students, parents, and educators to focus on creating opportunities for our younger generations. I am happy to have worked with the legislature to get this important legislation signed, sealed, and delivered.”
One of the other bills, HB 931, requires state universities to establish offices responsible for hosting speakers from across the political spectrum and ends the “political filters that are increasingly used to require political statements and ideological attestations by faculty and students in hiring, promoting, and admissions.”
The new laws are the latest in DeSantis’ ongoing efforts to follow through on the promises he made in his second inaugural address to continue getting ideological proselytization out of education and more thoroughly making Florida the place “where woke goes to die.”
He has taken numerous actions to prohibit critical race theory and age-inappropriate sexual discussions from classrooms and help elect like-minded conservatives to local school boards as well as force compliance with state standards such as keeping restrooms sex-specific. Last month, he proposed legislation to impose new standards on colleges and universities pertaining to accountability, historical accuracy, and prohibiting ideological indoctrination or the enforcement of ideological conformity.
Those actions, in turn, are part of a broader conservative record that has generated substantial interest in DeSantis for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. The governor has not yet announced his candidacy but is expected to in the coming weeks, having just concluded an ambitious legislative session featuring conservative legislation on abortion, crime, transgenderism, education, and more.