NewsKansas GOP Leaders Push DEI Restrictions On Public Campuses

Kansas GOP Leaders Push DEI Restrictions On Public Campuses

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Kansas GOP lawmakers are considering a ban on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives on university campuses. 

The difference between Kansas and other states is that lawmakers have drafted proposals to avoid having to agree on defining DEI. With a planned vote on March 21—just a week after the Senate approved a $25 billion budget proposal forcing schools to eliminate mandatory DEI training—the proposed bill would prevent universities, community colleges, or technical colleges from admitting students, hiring, or promoting employees based on DEI.  

The bill uses that specific language but states that institutions cannot require a statement about “any political ideology or movement.”

Similar to other states, the issue has sparked debate between both sides of the political aisle, especially when they disagree on how to define DEI.

“It’s hard for me to pass a bill to punish a university for doing something that we don’t define,” Rep. Tom Sawyer (D-Wichita) said. “The words diversity, equity and inclusion to me, in themselves, are positive words.”

However, Kansas House Speaker Dan Hawkins describes the bill as a simple test — whether a university requires ideological statements from students, job applicants, or employees. He feels it doesn’t need everyone to agree on how to define it. “Everybody’s got a different definition,” Hawkins said. “To get everybody to aspire to one definition is pretty difficult.”

Source: Black Enterprise

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