DeSantis Demanded To Know How State Funding Was Being Spent At State Universities; The Answer Wasn’t Pretty

Image by Bryan Pollard / Shutterstock.com
Image by Bryan Pollard / Shutterstock.com

Millions of dollars from the state of Florida’s budget are being spent on “woke education” programs at the state’s public colleges. About $28.3 million is being spent by Florida’s public institutions on diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) initiatives.

The Republican administration of Governor Ron DeSantis requested the report to learn how much state money was going into DEI and CRT. Money was supposedly allocated to several academic programs at the institution, including departments, activities, and courses.

According to a report from the State University System (SUS) of Florida sent to the administration of Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, public universities in the state are spending millions of dollars on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) initiatives on campus.

According to a document sent on December 28, the Florida Office of Budget and Policy demanded that all state-funded schools and institutions in the state submit a report describing how they had spent state funding to promote DEI and CRT activities. The Independent Florida Alligator, the University of Florida student newspaper, got the SUS report, which indicated that in the 2022-2023 budget, the state institutions of Florida would spend over $28 million on such initiatives.

About $8.6 million was allocated to DEI and CRT programs at the University of South Florida (USF), of which $2.5 million came from the state of Florida. The Second-highest funding went to the University of Florida, which spent $5.3 million on 31 programs and 10 DEI and CRT-related courses ($3.1 million of which came from the state).

The communication requesting the accounting of funds given to state universities was sent on December 28 to the Florida College System (FCS) and the SUS. On Wednesday, the presidents of the 28 schools that make up the FCS released a statement saying they would not utilize state financing to promote DEI or CRT.

The DEI and CRT programs at Florida A&M University and the University of Central Florida cost more than $4 million each. Of the total $2.3 million in state support, $400,000 went to the “Faculty Recruitment Program” at UCF. According to the report, this initiative funds colleges to hire candidates from underrepresented groups via a search exemption.

The Institute of Sport and Social Justice at UCF’s DeVos Sport Business Management Program used $108,008 in state funding for a total price tag of $1,500,000. According to the program’s website, sports educate, empower, and inspire individuals, organizations, and the global community to embody their beliefs in speaking up for fairness, inclusivity, and social justice.

At Florida International University (FIU), the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion utilized $1,060,071.70 in state money in 2016–17, while the Office to Advance Women, Equity, and Diversity spent $180,080.12. The state monies were also used to compensate DEI Advocates and Equity Advisors, who are tasked with addressing equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging within their institutions, schools, or divisions.

On January 6, Florida’s Commissioner of Higher Education, Manny Diaz Jr., tweeted about what was wrong with the education system in Florida. According to Diaz, rather than indoctrinating kids with critical race theory and other anti-historical rubbish, Florida’s institutions should focus on giving their students a world-class education.

Approximately $1.8 million and $2.2 million were allocated by the state to DEI and CRT at Florida State University, as well as the University of North Florida, respectively. In comparison, less than $1 million was spent by Florida Gulf Coast University, University of West Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and Florida Polytechnic University combined.