Why is DeSantis going after New College?

The following Letter to the Editor was published in The Daily Sun on Jan 24, 2023.

Ron DeSantis and his fascist regime are running roughshod over our students’ education.

First in K-12 grades with his CRT policy and banned books, etc. and now in our colleges and universities. Recently, for no reason except to promote his conservative, antieverything, except white male privilege agenda, he has taken on the New College of Florida.

The governor announced last week that he’s appointing six new trustees to “fix” New College of Florida. New College of Florida is the smallest school in the state’s public university system — and one that’s consistently praised as one of the best bargains in higher education.

“It is our hope that New College of Florida will become Florida’s classical college, more along the lines of a Hillsdale of the South,” Florida’s Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. said. Hillsdale College is a small Christian private school in Michigan that prides itself on its ultra right wing/ conservative views. The college became the darling of the Republican Party when it refused federal funds rather than supply admission statistics for Black students.

Why, you ask would the governor want to hijack a small successful Florida public college? Most likely because among other things, it is LGBTQ-friendly with a 36% minority enrollment. As often said, if it ain’t broke don’t “fix” it.

Carol Prier, Port Charlotte

 Image Credits: Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald-Tribune,