Let’a see: government funding, government property and building, government curricula, and government employees, but not government speech? Yes, it is government speech. “But there should be academic freedom!” Meaning what? Professors are free to advocate nazism (They are already preaching communism and fascism, by the way.) Physics 101 professors are not required to actually teach physics 101 in their classrooms? Try running that past an accredidation committee. Neither universities nor classrooms are about free expression. They are about deliberation and discussion. Socratic dialogue is not about “expression”. It is about discerning the truth.
In a Physics 101 class, there is no truth to be discovered because basic physics is already well known. Might another Einstein come along and discover a a new field of science? Yes, but it won’t show up in a Physics 101 class until it too is well established. Until then, the new discipine will only be covered in graduate school. What about literature? Does anyone really think someone will come up with some new insight into Shakespeare after six centuries? Or, the Illiad after three millenium? The students (and the teachers) in undergraduate programs (and most graduate programs) are learning the truth, not uncovering new truths. Owners of these schools, whether they be individuals or We the People have every right to expect and demand that the teachers they employ teach a defined body of knowledge and not freelance. Professors or teachers of any kind may exercise professional judgment, not academic freedom.
Governor Desantis and the state legislature are right to reassert the authority of the people of Florida over the schools their government owns and operates. As representatives of the people of Florida, it is the duty of the legislature, governor, and other elected representatives define and approve the curricula of their schools as well as prudently judge the professional judgment exercised by the people employed by them.