Jun 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DeSantis signs law requiring college faculty, students to take surveys on beliefs

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed legislation requiring state colleges and universities to annually survey their students, faculty and staff about their beliefs to ensure "viewpoint diversity and intellectual freedom."

Why it matters: The legislation doesn't specify for what the survey results will be used, but at a press conference on Tuesday DeSantis said that schools found to be "indoctrinating" students aren't "worth tax dollars" and are "not something we’re going to be supporting going forward."

The big picture: The survey will assess the "extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented" and determine whether students, faculty and staff "feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom," per the legislation.

What they're saying: DeSantis said Tuesday the bills would prevent state schools from becoming “hotbeds for stale ideology."

  • He added it is now the "norm" for schools to be "intellectually repressive environments" that promote "orthodoxies," though he didn't specify which orthodoxies were being promoted or which schools have this problem, per the Tampa Bay Times.

What's next: The law goes into effect on July 1. The survey will be conducted annually with reports published each September, starting Sept. 1, 2022.

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