Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed a ban on diversity and inclusion initiatives at the state’s public universities. The move, which was announced on Tuesday, has been met with strong opposition from civil rights advocates and higher education leaders.
DeSantis has cited the need to “promote civics education and patriotism” as the reason for the proposed ban. He has also proposed the creation of “civics institutes” at the University of Florida, Florida State University, and Florida International University.
The proposed ban would prohibit state universities from using public funds for activities that “promote the division of individuals by race, sex, ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or political beliefs.”
The proposed ban has been met with criticism from civil rights organizations, who argue that it is an attempt to stifle diversity and inclusion initiatives at the state’s universities. They also argue that the ban would be a violation of the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech.
Higher education leaders have also expressed concern about the proposed ban. They argue that it would impede the ability of universities to create a diverse and inclusive campus environment.
The proposed ban is part of a larger package of higher education reforms that DeSantis has proposed. The package includes a proposal to create a new statewide accreditation system and to allow state universities to offer online courses.
The proposed ban is currently under review by the Florida Legislature. It is unclear if the proposal will be approved, or if it will face further opposition from civil rights advocates and higher education leaders.