Republicans open new front in ‘divisive concepts’ legislative debate: Colleges

A year after passing into law a set of regulations barring K-12 teachers from certain instruction around race and gender, some Republican lawmakers are pressing to extend the regulations to the state’s public colleges and universities.

Introduced this month, House Bill 1313 would build on legislation added to the state budget trailer bill in 2021 that barred teachers from teaching that one race, gender or other protected class was inherently superior or advantaged over another; that members of one protected were inherently oppressive over members of another class, consciously or unconsciously; and that members of one class should be treated differently from members of another class.

The debate comes as some Republicans are seeking to expand the “divisive concepts” law in K-12 schools, with a group of House representatives introducing House Bill 1255, which would create a “teacher’s loyalty” statute that would prevent teachers from instructing “any doctrine or theory promoting a negative account or representation of the founding and history of the United States.” 

Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing bills to repeal the new law. House Bill 1090 and Senate Bill 304 would both undo the previous “divisive concepts” law, and specify that “no education law of this state shall be construed to bar any school employee from teaching the historical or current experiences of any group that is protected from discrimination.”–divisive-concepts–legislative-debate-colleges-44564337

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