Florida’s Public Universities Are Spending Millions In Taxpayer Dollars On Woke Education Initiatives

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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  • Public universities in Florida are spending approximately $28 million to fund diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) programs on campus.
  • The report was compiled at the request of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration to determine how much state funding was supporting DEI and CRT.
  • The funds were used to support university departments, activities and courses.

Public universities in Florida are spending millions of dollars to support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) initiatives on campus, according to a State University System (SUS) of Florida report sent to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration.

Florida’s Office of Budget and Policy requested all public colleges and universities send a report detailing how they used state funds to support DEI and CRT initiatives, according to a Dec. 28 memo. The SUS report, obtained by the University of Florida student newspaper The Independent Florida Alligator, revealed that Florida’s public universities are spending a combined total of over $28 million on such programs in the 2022-2023 budget, with over $15 million of that number coming from state funds. (RELATED: Florida College Presidents Pledge To Not Fund Critical Race Theory, Diversity Initiatives On Campus)

The University of South Florida (USF) spent approximately $8.6 million on DEI and CRT programs and $2.5 million came from state funds. The University of Florida spent the second highest amount at $5.3 million to fund 31 programs and 10 DEI and CRT related courses, with $3.1 million being state funds.

The Dec. 28 memo was sent to the SUS and the Florida College System (FCS) with a Jan. 13 deadline. FCS presidents published a letter on Wednesday stating that none of its 28 institutions would use state funding to support DEI or CRT.

Both Florida A&M University (FAMU) and the University of Central Florida spent more than $4 million on its DEI and CRT programs. UCF, which spent $2.3 in state funding, spent $400,000 on its “Faculty Recruitment Program” which “is designed to provide funding to colleges to hire candidates from underrepresented groups through the use of a search exemption,” according to the report.

UCF’s DeVos Sport Business Management Program: The Institute of Sport and Social Justice cost $1,500,000 and used $108,008 from state funds. The program believes that sports “educat[es], empower[s], and inspir[s] individuals, organizations, and the global community to live their values in standing up for equity, inclusion, and social justice.”

Florida International University (FIU) spent $1,060,071.70 of state funds on its Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and used another $180,080.12 on its Office to Advance Women, Equity & Diversity. It also used state funds to pay DEI Advocates and Equity Advisors, who are “responsible for taking leadership on matters of equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging within their colleges, school, or divisions.”

“Florida’s colleges and universities should concentrate on providing students with a world class education, not indoctrinating them with critical race theory or other anti-historical nonsense,” Manny Diaz Jr., Florida’s higher education commissioner, tweeted on Jan. 6. 

The University of North Florida and Florida State University spent approximately $1.8 million and $2.2 million respectively from state funds on DEI and CRT, while Florida Gulf Coast University, University of West Florida, Florida Atlantic University and Florida Polytechnic University spent less than $1 million each.

UF, FSU, FAMU, UWF, UCF, FIU, UNF, FGCU, CNF, FPU, USF and the governor’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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