An Iowa bill introduced Sunday would end higher education institutions’ diversity programs, prohibiting colleges from spending money on such efforts.
House File 616 would prohibit public higher education institutions governed by the Iowa Board of Regents from funding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts and would bar the universities from hiring DEI officers. The bill, introduced by the Iowa Committee on Education, would require the money that would have been spent on DEI efforts go towards merit scholarships for lower-income and middle-income students.
“The bill also authorizes a student, faculty member or alumnus of a public institution of higher education alleging a violation of the bill’s provisions to bring a civil action for injunctive relief against the public institution of higher education to prohibit the public institution of higher education from continuing such violation,” the legislation stated.
Universities are not permitted to spend any grants, tuition, endowments and gifts on DEI policies, programming, training, activities and positions, the bill stated. Under the legislation, the state’s attorney general can oversee the universities efforts to axe diversity efforts and punish the schools if they fail to do so.
The legislation comes among other education efforts within the state; the legislature is considering an Iowa bill that would prohibit teachers from giving lessons “relating to gender identity” in K-8 public and charter school classrooms. In January, Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House Study Bill 1 into law, creating a school choice program that gives vouchers to students outside of the public school system. Read more…