Millions at Stake for State Universities that Violate Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act”

May 9, 2022 Updated 4:02 PM ET

DeSantis Education Twitter

May 9, 2022 Updated 4:02 P.M. ET

GAINESVILLE (FLV) – Millions of dollars in performance funding could be at risk for state universities if they violate Florida’s new Stop WOKE Act

Under the law, educators and workplace employers cannot teach people that their “moral character” is determined by race, sex, or national origin. 

The Gainesville Sun reports that $100 million in performance funding could be on the line for the University of Florida. UF President Kent Fuchs said the state could impose “large financial penalties” on universities that violate the Stop WOKE Act. 

The Stop WOKE Act bans workplace training or schools from teaching that anyone is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.

President Fuchs provided a slideshow detailing how the new Florida law would impact the university. 

The slides said instructors may not suggest or assert that: 

  • One group is morally superior to another, when the groups are defined by race, color, national origin or sex. 
  • A person, by simple virtue of his/her race, color, national origin or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive. 
  • An individual, by virtue of race, color, national origin, or sex bears resonsibility and should feel guilt for past actions committed by members of his/her group. 

“All of these concepts may be discussed in instructional settings, providing instruction is given in an objective manner without endorsement of the concepts,” the slideshow said. “Instructors are encouraged to create classroom environments in which facts and theories are presented along with different interpretations and viewpoints.”

Under the law, students and employees can’t be told that race, color, sex or national origin determines whether someone is privileged or oppressed.

“We are not going to use your tax dollars to teach our kids to hate this country or to hate each other,” DeSantis said in April. “We believe an important component of freedom in the state of Florida is the freedom from having oppressive ideologies opposed upon you without your consent.”

The Governor’s administration has cracked down on Critical Race Theory in public schools. The Florida Department of Education rejected 41% of submitted math textbooks, citing attempts to indoctrinate students. Since then, more publishers have removed “woke” content and have been added to the adopted list to meet state standards. 

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