DeSantis’ Proposed Changes in Florida: From Education to Abortion

Goff Justice announces a $20 million expansion of nursing education programs

Eliminate Diversity Programs (HB 999 / SB 266)

What will you do: Building on DeSantis’ push to eliminate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and critical race theory (CRT) from public education.

The bill would ban public universities from spending money on campus diversity programs and direct them to remove any majors that focus on CRT or “radical feminist theory,” among other gender-related topics. It would also weaken term of service protections for public university professors and encourage universities to promote Western civilization education.

The context to know: The Florida governor is seeking to eradicate what he calls “awakened” left-wing ideologies from the Sunshine State. He has repeatedly focused on CRT and DEI initiatives as signature components. CRT is an academic framework based on the premise that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions. The International Education Initiative includes initiatives to promote diversity in education and the workplace.

Critics say DeSantis’ “anti-wake” platform is having a chilling effect, forcing educators and schools to drop any instruction or initiative related to race or diversity. DeSantis and his supporters argue using DEI and CRT to enforce an “ideological agenda”.

Expand General Coupons (HB 1 / SB 202)

What will you do: Significantly expand the state’s school voucher program by opening it to all K-12 students regardless of household income. Recipients will be awarded a taxpayer-funded “grant” to pay for the private school of their choice.

The context to know: Few other countries offer a global coupon program. Supporters say parents will be allowed to enroll their children in the school they think is best.

Democratic opponents questioned the program’s cost. A Florida Policy Institute analysis found it would come with an annual price tag of $4 billion — far more than the state legislature estimated.

condition: signed into law; It enters into force on July 1.

Expand “Don’t Call Gay” (HB 1223 / SB 1320)

What will you do: bans Classroom instructions regarding gender identity or sexual orientation in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Currently, the state prohibits any such lessons in kindergarten through third grade.

The proposal would also ban the use of personal pronouns in public schools that do not correspond to the gender of the teacher, administrator or student at birth.

The context to know: DeSantis has supported a similar bill covering previous degrees in 2022 that critics have called the “Don’t Call Me Gay” law, arguing that it discriminates against LGBTQ students and families. The following year, the law was used to justify decisions such as banning books centered on the LGBTQ community and removing “Safe Space” posters from classrooms.

Even if the new bill does not pass, the law is likely to be expanded soon to all school levels. DeSantis’ Stacked Education Board is expected to vote in April on a rule banning lessons on gender identity and sexual orientation through the 12th grade.