Fight Against Diversity Requirements in Education Picks Up Steam

(The Center Square) The legislative fight against Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs in education is picking up steam nationwide.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. introduced the Fairness in Higher Education Accreditation Act,  which would ban accreditation officials from considering an educational institution’s DEI or affirmative action policies when determining accreditation.

DEI departments have exploded at universities in recent hears with a spike in new administrators who enforce liberal equity and racial policies at the educational institution. These programs usually embrace the idea of systemic racism, speak of the U.S. as a deeply racist nation, and push for the most aggressive side of the LGBTQ agenda.

In recent years, more and more federally recognized accreditation agencies have implemented DEI requirements for applicants, forcing schools to embrace progressive ideas on race and gender or risk losing their accreditation.

“Wokeness should not be mandatory,” Rubio said in a statement after introducing the bill, which the Florida senator argues “seeks to prevent a politicized Department of Education from further forcing diversity, equity, and inclusion policies into higher education.”

U.S. Sens. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, are helping lead the effort to undo these federally backed requirements for accreditation.

“We need to make sure that no school is judged based on whether a DEI agenda is used,” Scott said.

Lee said the effort “safeguards against manipulating the accreditation process to advance ideological agendas.”

The Senate effort is the latest pushback against DEI. State lawmakers and governors have already begun taking on DEI policies, as The Center Square previously reported.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to sign a bill that will end taxpayer funding for DEI programs at public colleges and universities.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court is taking on the affirmative action issue and may prohibit the policy. The high court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming weeks on the case, which considers the race-based admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Specifically, the ruling in this case could have a major impact on schools’ affirmative action policies and how they discriminate based on race, especially whether schools receiving federal funding can continue to do so.

Students for Fair Admissions, a nonprofit group boasting 20,000 members, filed the relevant lawsuit against Harvard and the University of North Carolina in 2014. The lawsuit alleges that the policies discriminate against white and Asian-American applicants.