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DeSantis follows Idaho Freedom’s lead in sniffing out woke spending in higher ed. Will Little and lawmakers join the fight?

DeSantis follows Idaho Freedom’s lead in sniffing out woke spending in higher ed. Will Little and lawmakers join the fight?

Idaho Freedom Foundation staff
January 4, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced he wants his state’s university system to spell out in great detail every public dollar it spends on woke programs. 

Sound familiar? 

It should. This is a fight Idaho Freedom Foundation launched two years ago, much to the dismay of the college presidents and educrats who feed off these dollars while pushing their leftist agendas. 

Today, Idaho Freedom and its Center for American Education have a message for DeSantis: Welcome to this fight. We hope you win — and win big. 

The Florida governor’s office released a memo directing officials in the state department of education and the university system to report on how much money is being spent throughout the state’s colleges and universities on programs or initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT).

Every college or university must describe each activity, the number of employees dedicated to the activity, the amount of money spent on the activity, and how much of this money is funded by the state. Responses are due by January 13.

Two years ago, Idaho Freedom cataloged that spending for universities in the Gem State. At the time, we uncovered more than $20 million in spending on DEI-style programs designed to instill leftist thinking into young minds. 

In dramatic fashion during the 2021 legislative session, IFF and allied lawmakers won $2.5 million in targeted funding reductions for higher education. The message: Get your act together and stop spending on this woke nonsense. 

Unfortunately, higher education isn't addressing the problem and continues spending public dollars on leftist programming, classes, and content. Idaho Freedom and Center for American Education will provide updated spending estimates in the coming weeks, just as lawmakers prepare higher ed’s 2024 budget. 

This sets up a legislative clash. With a conservative leader like DeSantis now taking on this fight, will that give permission for less conservative governors like Idaho’s Brad Little to do the same? Or will Little and his office continue to ignore the problem, thus enabling the continuation of leftist indoctrination in higher education? 

DeSantis’s efforts to determine how much money is being wasted on DEI programming demonstrate remarkable leadership and a willingness to resist a statewide takeover of the state’s universities by leftist ideology. 

If Little won’t follow DeSantis’s example and find out how much money is being spent on DEI initiatives in Idaho’s colleges and universities, conservative lawmakers must step up and get answers to this critical question. 

Taxpayers like you deserve to know how your money is being spent.

So, bravo to DeSantis and company for showing bold leadership in the Sunshine State. Let’s hope we will see some of that here in Idaho soon. 

Idaho Freedom Foundation
802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
p 208.258.2280 | e [email protected]
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