Governor Stitt Aims to Eliminate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Funding in Oklahoma
KOKH - December 15, 2023 6:22 am
Gov. Kevin Stitt
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KOKH) — Governor Stitt signed an Executive Order aiming to eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion funding in Oklahoma.
The topic of ending DEI has become very popular lately with State Superintendent Ryan Walters.
“Don’t worry about what they look like or how they identify, let’s just go help kids,” Governor Stitt said.
His order lists that state agencies cannot grant or support DEI positions, departments, activities, procedures or programs to the extend that “they grant preferential treatment based on one person’s particular race.”
“We need to stop sending six figure salaries to DEI staff,” the Governor said.
It’s not just the staff at his own agencies that he’s hoping to crack down on, but also at Oklahoma’s colleges and universities.
“It’s going to shift the focus of education back to educating our young people instead of politics and indoctrination in our colleges and universities,” Governor Stitt said.
Under the same roof, one legislative black caucus member was thrown off by the Governor’s message.
“Defunding discrimination, the very text of his moment was off kilter,” Senator George Young said.
He is a supporter of celebrating more diversity in the classroom.
“It is the very essence that educational system, our higher education system, to give people a new way of thinking, a new way of seeing things, a more diverse way of seeing things,” Sen. Young said.
Growing up in the 60’s, Senator Young said he’s seen first hand why DEI became a much needed part of the conversation.
“DEI is a great way, it has served a great purpose, it continues to serve a purpose,” Sen. Young said. “It continues to do things to encourage folks that, I feel like my children and grandchildren will have an opportunity regardless of whatever.”
The Governor is requiring all state agencies and universities to report back on their DEI funding numbers by May of 2024.