Controversial DeSantis Proposal to Defund and Ban Critical Race Theory in Florida’s Public Colleges and Universities

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced a controversial legislative proposal to defund and ban critical race theory and diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives from Florida’s public colleges and universities. The proposal comes as DeSantis proposes to defund all diversity, equity and inclusion programs at state colleges and universities and after the state Department of Education rejected an Advanced Placement African American studies course for high school students.

The proposal would give university presidents and boards of trustees the power to call for post-tenure reviews at any time and let go tenured faculty who are not performing to expectations.[0] DeSantis said Tuesday that post-tenure reviews would be required of tenured faculty every five years.[1]

DeSantis’ budget recommendations for the 2023-2024 fiscal year total $114.8 billion, a $3.9 billion increase over the current year budget.[2] This budget proposes a tax cut of $2 billion to give relief to families in Florida.[2] It also includes a $500 million Toll Relief Program that began on January 1, 2023.[2]

The budget also includes $1.1 billion for Everglades restoration and water-quality issues, including $614 million focused on the Everglades, according to the governor’s office.[3] The budget also proposes $100 million for a program to help clean up the Indian River Lagoon.[3]

In addition, DeSantis has proposed a more conservative direction for the New College of Florida, saying the college’s mission “has been, I think, more into the DEI, CRT, the gender ideology rather than what a liberal arts education should be.”[4] He stated that he wants more transparency into how school unions operate and to fight against school union haggling that holds teachers and their salary increases hostage.[5]

The proposals have sparked debate amongst legislators, college faculty, and students. It remains to be seen how the legislation will ultimately be received and what the outcome will be for public colleges and universities in Florida.

0. “Proposed reforms by Gov. DeSantis impact higher education |

1. “DeSantis Seeks to End ‘DEI’ Spending in Higher Ed – Tallahassee …”, 21 Feb. 2023,

2. “”The Framework for Freedom,” Governor Ron DeSantis’ State …”, 21 Feb. 2023,

3. “DeSantis pitches $114.8B budget | Osceola News Gazette”, 21 Feb. 2023,

4. “Gov. DeSantis’ conservative takeover of a liberal arts college is …”, 21 Feb. 2023,

5. “DeSantis announces sweeping reforms that include ‘Teacher Bill of …”, 21 Feb. 2023,

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