A new report revealed that over 80% of medium or large community colleges in the U.S. have diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs, according to a report from Jonathan Butcher, education fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy.
These community colleges receive over half of their funding from taxpayers, with federal taxpayers providing 18% and 33% coming from state taxpayers, according to the report. The report asserts that DEI is ineffective at changing behaviors and that there is little evidence that DEI programs help community college students earn a degree, offering policies to address DEI in Republican states.
“While these schools should be focused on improving their academic offerings and completion rates, radical racial and ‘gender’ activists have captured departments and administrative offices at community colleges across the country. Woke radicals are propagating the same racially focused, ideologically driven diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) officers and training on community college campuses that have distracted four-year institutions from education students,” Butcher writes in his new report.
Less than half of community college students complete a degree within six years of enrolling and nearly half do not graduate at all, according to the report.
“The prevalence of DEI is troubling for students at two-year and four-year institutions alike. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision calls into question whether DEI’s focus on racial preferences violates the U.S. Constitution,” Butcher writes in the report.
The report says Republican lawmakers should prohibit two-year institutions from using taxpayer funds from DEI officers and from requiring job-applicants from signing DEI loyalty oaths.
“I expect to see several more states with Republican trifectas passing legislation to eliminate DEI bureaucracies in public institutions and their state universities. I expect we’ll see a lot more of that in upcoming legislative sessions,” Jay Greene, senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Education Policy, told the DCNF.
DEI in higher education is under fire in multiple Republican states.
The South Carolina legislature announced an inquiry into DEI in public universities in February, prompting at least one college in the state to rebrand its DEI efforts. Republican Arkansas state Sen. Dan Sullivan is leading an inquiry into Arkansas colleges, which prompted the University of Arkansas to dissolve its DEI department.
“We are using taxpayer dollars on something that is not in any way helping these students achieve their goals,” Butcher told the DCNF.
Brandon Poulter on November 13, 2023