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Florida limits the right to educational freedom in public universities

Floridian Governor, Ron DeSantis, has been working with other Republicans in the state legislature in order to defund public universities and limit their ability to provide students with higher education.

The plans began way back in January when DeSantis verbally announced his intention to defund the fairness, diversity, and inclusivity of public colleges and universities. This is intended to limit any sort of progressive learning, such as gender and minority studies, in order to push the conservative agenda onto those in the college-age range, or more specifically, young voters. 

Throughout this term, DeSantis has signed two major bills which have already been integrated into the law. The two bills are titled SB 266 (the anti-DEI bill) and HB 931 (the political viewpoints bill).

SB 266 & HB 931

The anti-DEI bill has the most effect on university education compared to the other bill. The bill requires that every state university or college alter its “mission statement” in order to “promote state economic development.” While it does not outright appear as concerning, the bill puts several restrictions on particular majors, programs, curriculums, and minors that can be offered, as well as certain subjects that can be taught in general education classes. This especially affects those seeking a liberal arts education, as DeSantis has directly attacked the courses within that school.

General education courses are prohibited to include any material about systemic racism, oppression, sexism, or even white privilege. It also pushes students into majors/degrees surrounding what will provide a higher annual income in order to promote economic development within colleges.

There are also regulations on faculty tenure, limiting a staff’s right to ensure their own tenure protection due to strict, annual evaluations. The bill threatens the freedom of education for students as well as the autonomy of faculty members.

The political viewpoints bill regulates a university’s assessments of, quote on quote, “intellectual freedom” and the diversity of viewpoints. This is enforced through the use of a survey gauging all student and faculty members’ ability to share their opinions and worldviews in class. 

This bill also restricts any “political discrimination” or the ability for an institution to base its decision-making processes based off of one’s political affiliation, race, and ethnicity, as well as any organizations that they may support. Many see this as a way for any harmful conservatives to keep their actions from having consequences or for hate groups to slip by decision-making processes. 

This has also been verbally discussed as a way for conservatives to openly share their unpopular views. This can be seen through its requirements for events to allow speakers to share their opposing or possibly rejected views and perspectives on the subject of public policy.


Overall, these two bills are infuriating to Floridian students, especially those who oppose the conservative agenda. It’s a common consensus among young Americans that the disruption of politics in educational institutions which limits the freedom of learning is unacceptable and should be prevented. 

The insertion of laws in colleges and universities only signifies that politicians need to restrict the intelligence of Americans in order to push their power onto their ability to vote.


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Tags: education rights politics Ron DeSantis Florida SB 266 HB 931 bills


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