Monday, February 6, 2023

Play

Fare-free public transit benefits Kansas City residents and businesses; farmers prioritize food, not feed in the 2023 Farm Bill; and a new survey: students want a more diverse inclusive curriculum.

Play

The Democratic National Committee votes to shake up the presidential primary calendar, President Biden gets a better than expected jobs report before his second State of the Union, and lawmakers from both parties question the response to a Chinese data gathering balloon.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Higher Ed Braces for DeSantis Attacks on Unions, 'Trendy Ideology'

Play

Friday, January 13, 2023   

If it's "woke," "trendy," or has anything to do with race and diversity, it appears Gov. Ron DeSantis wants no part of it in Florida.

From signing what was dubbed the "Stop WOKE Act" to prohibit teaching certain concepts related to race, the DeSantis administration has now asked state colleges and universities for information about what resources they are putting into activities related to diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as what some call "critical race theory."

Matthew Lata, Florida State University chapter president for United Faculty of Florida, said he thinks the governor is following a conservative trend to gain political points, regardless of the outcome or legal challenges.

"And they are jumping feet first into this without having thought of what the consequences are," Lata observed. "If you remove offices of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, if you stop all of those efforts, you will lose federal grants; and we're talking about not millions but up into the billions, statewide."

DeSantis received applause from supporters during his inaugural address critical of what he called "trendy ideology" last week. On Wednesday, a group of college professors asked a federal judge to block the governor's request for spending data on the diversity programs, which was due today.

During the holidays, DeSantis took aim at faculty unions, saying he does not want union dues deducted from teachers' paychecks. In a move designed to make it harder for labor unions to get funding, Lata countered it is shortsighted.

"This is not a group of wild-eyed radicals," Lata pointed out. "Most of our members teach in STEM, teach in fields that are supposedly supported by the governor. They appreciate what the union does for them, and we're going to survive. I'd say, 'Bring it on, and we'll see what happens.' "

There are also plans in the Legislature to set a threshold for unions to represent teachers, which would involve at least 50% of teachers approving union membership. Similar bills have failed. Lata believes they can meet the challenge if needed. He added when his union was last certified a decade ago, the vote was 90% in favor, even if not all faculty members chose to join.


get more stories like this via email
Michigan environmental activists have begun to focus on environmental justice issues in low-income communities that bear the brunt of industrial pollution and political indifference. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

By Tom Perkins for Planet Detroit.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Michigan News Connection with support from the Solutions Journalism Network…


Environment

By Jared Brey for Governing.Broadcast version by Deborah Van Fleet for Missouri News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public New…

Social Issues

South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth. It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters …


Voters in Pittsburgh-area districts 32, 34 and 35 will head to the polls Tuesday to fill three vacancies in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (MoiraM/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

While the Pennsylvania House is still out of session and won't resume until late February, the public and advocacy groups are voicing their concerns…

Social Issues

Better health and educational outcomes are being touted as the potential benefits as Minnesota lawmakers discuss whether to provide free school meals …

Social Issues

Engineers with the University of Maine say the successful construction of the world's first bio-based, 3D-printed house could help alleviate the …

Social Issues

Tax time is here again. Between now and mid-April, Idahoans in need of assistance can find free help across the state through the AARP Foundation's …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021