Preserving Florida’s Liberal Arts

Thousands in Florida have signed a petition in support of the liberal arts. This comes after Florida Governor Rick Scott threatened earlier this month to move state funding away from the liberal arts and into more “practical academic fields” at state colleges and universities. He argued specifically that something like anthropology was not worth of public support because,

You know, we don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state. It’s a great degree if people want to get it, but we don’t need them here. I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, math degrees. That’s what our kids need to focus all their time and attention on. Those type of degrees. So when they get out of school, they can get a job.

Don’t worry, we’ll be fine, say the state’s liberal arts majors. They’ve circulated a petition calling on Scott to maintain full funding for the liberal arts and social sciences. As the petition explains:

Liberal arts degree-holders are essential to the Florida economy. They work in diverse fields such as forensics, education, intelligence, public health, crime investigation, law, politics, military, government, business, etc. Governor Scott has disparaged the education of millions and has demonstrated disturbing hostility toward higher education. Further, he is jeopardizing the future of Florida’s already teetering economy.

Some 8,000 people have signed the petition so far.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer