‘Education is in the crosshairs’: Educators concerned about new DEI laws

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed Senate Bill 266 into law, which enacts sweeping new requirements for Florida colleges and universities.

The bill limits funding for diversity, equity and inclusion and requires schools to review instruction “on the basis of theories that systemic racism, sexism and privilege are inherent in United States institutions…”

“I think maybe the governor is campaigning and higher education is in the crosshairs,” said Jessica Magnani, a professor at St. Pete College and chair of the faculty union.

“This bill states that the governor and the legislature, who do not have equal expertise in either of those disciplines, have the power to control what they can and cannot say in the classroom. Personally, I have a fundamental problem with this. It’s not the kind of education I want for my children,” she added.

The bill was signed into law at New College, a school that has made DeSantis a focal point in the culture wars over education in the state.

“You can’t just take taxpayer money and do whatever you want and think that’s kinda okay,” DeSantis said Monday.

“We want to use our tax money to concentrate on the classic mission of your university. We don’t want to get sidetracked into a lot of these highly politicized niche issues,” the governor added.

The new law will come into force in July.

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