In a bold move, Texas lawmakers passed a bill aimed at putting an end to divisive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs in state colleges and universities. Following in Florida’s footsteps, Texas is set to become the second state to pass such legislation. The bill requires university governors to dismantle DEI offices and eliminate preferential treatment based on “diversity hires.”
Republican state Rep. Tony Tinderholt spoke out, asserting that leftist ideologies have infiltrated Texas universities for far too long. He called on fellow lawmakers to reject the subversion happening within the institutions. Meanwhile, Democratic state Rep. Mary Edna Gonzalez expressed concern that the legislation would contribute to an exodus of students leaving the state for education.
Republican Rep. John Kuempel acknowledged the prevalence of DEI initiatives on Texas campuses but emphasized the importance of merit-based hiring practices. He argued that universities should focus on recruiting the most qualified individuals regardless of their race or gender. The bill, known as S.B. 17, received strong support in the Texas House, with an 83-60 vote in favor. It now returns to the Senate for consideration of House amendments.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick hailed the bill as a significant pushback against woke policies in higher education. He denounced the indoctrination attempts by faculty members and stressed the importance of teaching students critical thinking skills rather than promoting specific ideologies. Patrick’s statement echoed sentiments expressed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who recently signed similar legislation into law in Florida. The Florida bill prohibits the use of state or federal funds for divisive programs and initiatives that promote Critical Race Theory (CRT).
By passing this legislation, Texas and Florida are leading the way in defending intellectual diversity, civil discourse, and truth-seeking on college campuses. They aim to empower students, parents, and educators to create an environment that fosters opportunities for the younger generations. These conservative-led initiatives prioritize critical thinking over ideological conformity and are seen as a crucial step in reclaiming higher education from the grips of left-leaning agendas.