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Tipsheet

Texas Moves a Step Closer to Banning Diversity Programs in Higher Education

Rattankun Thongbun/iStock/Getty Images Plus

On Monday, Texas lawmakers passed a bill to end Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs at state colleges and universities. If the bill were to become law, it would be the second state in the nation with such legislation, following Florida. 

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According to The Hill, the measure requires the governors of each state university to ensure that there is no DEI office at the school and that preferential treatment is not given for “diversity hires.” 

“Conservatives began this session by recognizing this simple truth: Texas has allowed leftist to infiltrate our universities for far too long,” Republican state Rep. Tony Tinderholt reportedly said on Monday. “If you’re voting to keep these people on the Texas tax payroll at these universities, you are complicit in their subversion.”

Reportedly, one in six Texas students attends school out-of-state. Democratic state Rep. Mary Edna Gonzalez claimed that the legislation would “perpetuate the exodus we’re seeing.”

Rep. John Kuempel, a Republican, said that “DEI is present in some form in almost every Texas campus” and that schools “must recruit the best people in every field regardless of race and gender,” according to the Dallas Morning News. The Texas House voted 83-60 in support of S.B. 17. The legislation heads back to the Senate, where it will decide to accept or deny changes made by members of the House.

Last month, when the Senate passed its version of the bill, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick described the legislation as the “strongest pushback on woke policies in higher education.”

“For far too long, academia has been poisoned by woke policies and faculty seeking to indoctrinate our students. Professors did not believe we would push back on their advances, but they were wrong. Students should be taught how to think critically, not what to think," Patrick said in a statement

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Last week, Townhall covered how Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law to curtail spending on DEI programs. The legislation prohibits public colleges and universities from using federal or state funds on diversity programs of “discriminatory initiatives” that divide students like CRT.

“Florida has ranked number one in higher education for seven years in a row, and by signing this legislation we are ensuring that Florida’s institutions encourage diversity of thought, civil discourse, and the pursuit of truth for generations to come,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Florida is taking a stand for empowering students, parents, and educators to focus on creating opportunities for our younger generations. I am happy to have worked with the legislature to get this important legislation signed, sealed, and delivered.”

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