Battle Lines Drawn: Florida’s Educational Showdown on Race and Identity Politics

SB 266 bars state and federal funding of programs and activities advocating DEI policies or social activism, and HB 931 prohibits institutions from requiring DEI support statements for admission or hiring.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis talks with reporters after speaking at a fundraising picnic for U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Sioux Center, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Making waves this week is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who on Monday, under the heat of protests, signed two pieces of legislation: SB 266 and HB 931. Both bills regulate how race and gender are addressed in the state’s public colleges, a move that marks the latest in a string of attempts to control educational discourse.

The laws proposed by DeSantis earlier this year suppress the funding of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs and allow the state to discard educational programs that emphasize identity politics.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs several bills related to public education and teacher pay at a press conference in Miami, Tuesday, May 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

SB 266 bars state and federal funding of programs and activities advocating DEI policies or social activism, and HB 931 prohibits institutions from requiring DEI support statements for admission or hiring.

Controversy simmers as critics accused DeSantis of using the two laws as tools to silence discussions on systematic racism, sexism, and privilege.


Click play to listen to the report from AURN White House Correspondent Ebony McMorris. For more news, follow @E_N_McMorris & @aurnonline.

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