Florida public universities spent $15 million of taxpayer dollars on CRT, diversity initiatives: report

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The State University System of Florida (SUSF) spent $28 million on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) or Critical Race Theory (CRT) programs in the 2022-2023 school year, according to a report obtained by the University of Florida student newspaper. Over 50 percent of the money spent on the initiatives across the Florida university system was taxpayer funded. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis notified the state’s colleges and universities on December 28 that they had until January 13 to report any spending on DEI and CRT initiatives and classes. 

The University of South Florida (USF) spent the most at $8.6 million, while the University of Florida (UF) spent the second most at 5.3 million, according to the report. The University of Central Florida (UCF) has the state’s largest enrollment at 70,000 students and spent almost $4.48 million of its budget on DEI and CRT, with over 50 percent coming from taxpayers.

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UF’s Chief Diversity Officer’s was paid a $1,085,485 salary, which was over 70% taxpayer funded and UCF’s “Faculty Recruitment Program” spent $400,000 of taxpayer dollars to hire three professors “from underrepresented groups.”

Florida A&M University’s biggest expense was the $1.8 million it spent on a “Center for Environmental Equity and Justice,” which was completely taxpayer funded. 

At Florida Atlantic University (FAU), an assistant professor was paid over $10,000 in state-funding to teach a course on “Gender and Climate Change” which “explores how gender inequality across the globe is related to environmental damage and climate change and examines feminist, indigenous and LGBTQ climate justice movements alongside the gendered implications of global policy and practices related to the environment,” according to the report. 

Residents of Loudoun County, Virginia, helped make critical race theory a national conversation in 2021. 
(REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein)

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A lecturer at UCF was paid over $8,000 to teach a “Third Wave Feminism” class which had “an activist focus,” according to the description. 

DeSantis said during his second inaugural Address on Jan. 3 that Florida is number one in education freedom, parental involvement and public higher education, but he emphasized that the state “must ensure school systems are responsive to parents and to students, not partisan interest groups, and we must ensure that our institutions of higher learning are focused on academic excellence and the pursuit of truth, not the imposition of trendy ideology.”

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On Jan. 18, the DeSantis administration notified Florida public universities that they would also be required to report public funds used on services related to “gender dysphoria” by February 10. 

Fox News Digital reached out to The State University System of Florida for comment, but has yet to hear back. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an inauguration ceremony outside the Old Capitol on Jan. 3, 2023, in Tallahassee, Florida.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term during an inauguration ceremony outside the Old Capitol on Jan. 3, 2023, in Tallahassee, Florida.
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

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