Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has instructed his administration to request that colleges and universities in the state provide information about any funds they are using to support so-called “woke” curricula, including instruction in Critical Race Theory and “diversity, equity, and inclusion” training, Conservative Brief reports.
In a memo to Florida Education Commissioner Manny Diaz and Florida State University System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues, DeSantis’s office wrote that “as the Executive Office of the Governor prepares policy and budget proposals ahead of the 2023 Legislative Session, it is important that we have a full understanding of the operational expenses of state institutions.”
The memo added that “Governor Ron DeSantis has prioritized a cost-effective higher education system that delivers high-quality service to Floridians to best prepare them for employment. Additionally, state law requires dutiful attention to curriculum content at our higher education systems as specified in sections 1000.05 and 1007.25 of the Florida Statutes.”
The schools have been ordered to provide information about the following: a brief description of the program or activity, positions (including full and partial FTE), total funding spent to support the initiative, and the amount of state funding of the total spent to support the initiative.
The letter stated that “responses from each institution should be aggregated by your respective offices and submitted together to the Executive Office of the Governor Office of Policy and Budget.”
DeSantis, who easily won a second term after defeating Democratic challenger and former Governor Charlie Crist by a wide margin, has previously taken action against the “wokeness” of Critical Race Theory.
He signed Senate Bill 1108 and House Bill 233 into law two years ago.
The former legislation “requires state college and state university students to take both a civic literacy course and a civic literacy assessment as a graduation requirement,” while the latter “requires state colleges and universities to conduct annual assessments of the viewpoint diversity and intellectual freedom at their institutions.”
DeSantis has also signed a measure passed by the Republican-controlled legislature that prohibits the teaching of materials about sexual orientation and gender ideology to children in kindergarten through third grade.
During his second inaugural address, DeSantis said, “we must ensure school systems are responsive to parents and to students, not partisan interest groups, and we must ensure that our institutions of higher learning are focused on academic excellence and the pursuit of truth, not the imposition of trendy ideology. Florida must always be a great place to raise a family – we will enact more family-friendly policies to make it easier to raise children and we will defend our children against those who seek to rob them of their innocence.”