Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

To Help Gauge College Costs, Florida Gov. DeSantis Digs For ‘DEI’ In State Budget

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Liberals repeatedly lament the high cost of college education and lobby for student loan relief as a remedy.

Yet they never acknowledge their own role in why those costs are escalating.

In August 2021, the conservative Heritage Foundation released a study that found the average U.S. university employs 45 staff — people who are not in the classroom — to promote left-wing “diversity, equity, and inclusion” policies and programs, as demanded by liberals.

These people occupy jobs that likely didn’t exist a generation ago.

As the authors noted in their report, “Employing dozens of DEI professionals (chief diversity officers, assistant deans for diversity, directors for inclusive excellence, etc.) appears to work better as a jobs program subsidizing political activism than a means of improving campus climate.”

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Now, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to know what such programs cost Florida taxpayers.

On Twitter on Wednesday, DeSantis spokesman Bryan Griffin posted a copy of a letter the governor’s office sent to Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. and State University System Chancellor Ray Rodrigues requesting to know what the state’s 40 public colleges and universities spend “on programs and initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and critical race theory.”

The memo said DeSantis wanted the information in preparing the 2023 state budget.

To that end, each school must provide a “comprehensive” list of all staff, programs, and campus activities dedicated to pushing DEI.

They must describe the program, identify the positions involved, including part-timers, spell out the total funding for that work, and detail how much is actually state-funded.

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The list is due on Jan. 13.

In the letter, Chris Spencer, director of the Office of Policy and Budget, noted that DeSantis has “prioritized a cost-effective higher education system that delivers high-quality service to Floridians to best prepare them for employment.” To further that goal, he added, “It is important that we have a full understanding of the operational expenses of state institutions.”

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