Iowa bill pushes to end ‘woke agenda’ at state universities and eliminate DEI spending, lawmaker says
A bill making its way through the Iowa House of Representatives would end the “woke agenda” at the state’s colleges by banning spending on diversity, equity and inclusion, which sponsors the legislation.
“For too long, the DEI bureaucracies at our institutions of higher education have been used to promote a woke agenda about faculty, staff and students,” said Iowa State Rep. Taylor Collins. , Fox News. “Under the guise of diversity and inclusion, these programs aim to indoctrinate students into a political ideology of their choice.”
House File 616, which passed a House committee last week, prohibits public universities in the state from spending money on DEI offices or employees in positions based on race, identity, gender or sexual orientation. Courses, research, student organizations, and guest speakers on these topics are still allowed.
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“This bill aims to eliminate these DEI programs and ensure that this money is spent on the true benefit of students,” said Collins, a Republican.
Critics of the legislation argued that eliminating DEI offices would remove needed support for a wide range of students. University of Iowa President Barbara Wilson said educators need to think deeply about DEI, “not just about race, not just about gender, but about things like learning disabilities.” during a House Subcommittee hearing.
DEI offices typically help colleges promote diversity and inclusion and help all students achieve equal outcomes. They often offer mentoring programs, events, and other activities and hire students and staff from different racial groups to add diversity to the campus.
The DEI office at the University of Iowa, for example, promotes a “welcoming, respectful and inclusive climate for all” and promotes “recruitment and retention of faculty, students and staff,” according to its website. .
But opponents of DEI initiatives say such programs create race-based favoritism. The governor’s chief of staff, Greg Abbott, called DEI’s hiring practices an attempt to “push policies that clearly favor certain demographic groups over others.”
The governor of Texas has ordered state colleges to remove DEI factors from their hiring practices, leading universities to abandon diversity requirements.
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The Iowa bill also directs DEI funding to reduce in-state tuition and scholarships for low- and moderate-income students. Collins tweeted about the law “Iowa puts higher education focus back on academic excellence.”
A HOMESCHOOL MOTHER WHO RUNS HER PUBLIC SCHOOL CHILDREN THROUGH A GAME CURRICULUM SAYS IT IS ACHIEVING “FANTASTIC” RESULTS.
Other red states have also taken aggressive stances against DEI initiatives. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed cutting funding to programs that support DEI and critical race theory.
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Iowa’s introduction of the legislation also comes after the state passed the Student First Act in January, giving Iowa students the money to attend schools of their choice. . The Hokie state has been one of several Republican-led states in recent years to pass sweeping school choice laws for K-12 students as part of a campaign to advance parental rights in education.
House File 616 is awaiting a vote in the lower chamber.
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