Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' recent policies and laws regarding higher education and other areas are likely to keep students out of Florida colleges and universities. According to a new survey by Intelligent, one in eight high school students in Florida says they will not attend the state's public college. The most important findings are:
According to an Arts & Sciences survey, one in four students chooses not to attend public college because of the country's political climate; this applies to both liberal and conservative students. Conservative students tend to ignore colleges in California and New York, while liberal students tend to exclude Florida, Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana from their list. For Liberal students, the top concerns were abortion and reproductive rights, lack of concern for racial justice, LBGTQ+ laws, and easy access to guns, while for Conservative students, the reasons were more general.
Last year, Florida passed the Stop WOKE law, which prohibits schools from teaching anyone "anything that might cause guilt, distress, or psychological distress because of their race, sex, sexual or national origin." The law also prohibits universities from hiring KRRT consultants.
In addition to the Stop WOKE Act, the governor appointed New College's newest administrator, State Honors College, promptly fired its president, dissolved the DEI office, and worked to remodel the college along the lines of Hillsdale College. , a private Christian university in Michigan. This "takeover" of the university shocked many and was seen as a preview of what could happen to other Florida universities, as evidenced by Bills HB 999 and SB 266, which are being debated in the Florida House and Senate. The bill prohibits public colleges and universities from having programs based on, or supporting in their curricula, pedagogy that supports "critical theory" including critical race theory, critical race studies, critical ethnic studies, radical feminist theory, including critical race theory studies on Critical Race, Critical Ethnic Studies, Radical Feminist Theory, Radical Theory. Gender theory, queer theory, critical social justice or intersectionality. None of these subjects can be included in the core curriculum of a college or university.
Efforts to control what can be taught in colleges and universities in Florida and other states restrict free speech and challenge the critical thinking doctrine that underpins college education. Smart students choose schools in states that support all viewpoints, both conservative and liberal.