Gov. Ron DeSantis is at it again. This time he wants to eliminate radical studies from high schools and universities, which receive money from the state. In order to do that, he’s nominated six people for seats on the College of Florida Board of Trustees. They are Christopher Rufo, Matthew Spalding, Charles Kesler, Mark Bauerlein, Debra Jenks, and Jason “Eddie” Speir. But before they can be seated, they have to be approved by the Florida Senate.
I do not foresee a problem getting all six confirmed since Republicans lead Democrats by 28 to 12 and going against DeSantis is not a wise career move after his landslide victory.
Rufo, a fellow with the Manhattan Institute, is an activist who has opposed Critical Race Theory at the state and federal levels, while Spalding is a constitutional government professor at Hillsdale College. Kesler is the editor of the Claremont Review of Books and a professor at Claremont-McKenna College; Bauerlein is a professor of English at Emory University; Jenks is an attorney and serves on the Fourth District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission; and Speir is the chairman of the Inspiration Academy, a high school in southwestern Florida.
DeSantis Communications Director Taryn Fenske contended in a statement:
“Like so many colleges and universities in America, this institution has been completely captured by a political ideology that puts trendy, truth-relative concepts above learning. In particular, New College of Florida has reached a moment of critical mass, wherein low student enrollment and other financial stresses have emerged from its skewed focus and impractical course offerings.”
DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin said in a statement provided to The Daily Wire:
“As Governor DeSantis stated in his second inaugural speech: ‘We must ensure that our institutions of higher learning are focused on academic excellence and the pursuit of truth.’ Starting today, the ship is turning around. New College of Florida, under the governor’s new appointees, will be refocused on its founding mission of providing a world-class quality education with an exceptional focus on the classics.”
The move comes days after DeSantis asked public university administrators to provide an account of how much money is being spent on diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. This comes just as the legislature is considering how much money to allocate to colleges and universities that are spending a bundle on these programs and they may opt to cut their assistance by the amount they are not using for an actual education. Parents will love that.
DeSantis prioritized education reform in his first term, drawing criticism from leftist media outlets and large corporations. Disney was rebuked by customers last year for opposing legislation that prohibited instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity for students between kindergarten and third grade, prompting lawmakers to revoke special tax and regulatory privileges the entertainment conglomerate formerly enjoyed in central Florida.
DeSantis has also endorsed legislation that explicitly condemns teaching the notion that one racial group is morally superior or inferior to another. “No one should be instructed to feel as if they are not equal or shamed because of their race,” he commented. “In Florida, we will not let the far-left woke agenda take over our schools and workplaces. There is no place for indoctrination or discrimination in Florida.”