WASHINGTON — Republican state legislatures are pushing for new legislation to gut public education and further politicize the classroom across the country. Michigan Republicans proposed requiring public schools to submit curriculum, reading materials, and even field trip destinations to the public for scrutiny, while also pushing to siphon money away from public schools, an effort spearheaded by failed former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. During a time when teachers are overworked and underpaid, and parents are worried about their kids’ safety from COVID, the GOP is proposing a myriad of unneeded bills in an attempt to distract us from their failure to address the real issues plaguing our education system in 2022.
“Betsy DeVos and the state GOP lawmakers make perfect bedfellows,” DLCC vice president of communications Gabrielle Chew said. “Republican politicians think they know what is best for our kids when that should be up to the parents and teachers. Their radical agenda lines up perfectly with efforts from people like DeVos who are looking to funnel money away from public schools. Democratic majorities in the states are the last line of defense for our schools and kids’ futures.”
Here is a quick look at some of the Republican efforts to dilute educational opportunities for kids everywhere:
- In a blatant act of government overreach, Iowa Republicans have proposed using money that could go to books and supplies to install big-brother-style cameras in classrooms to police what subjects are being taught. Similar to Michigan, Iowa Republicans are preparing to push “curriculums transparency” legislation to force schools to gather and post the titles of all textbooks, books, articles, videos and other educational materials used in classes or available in libraries, as are Republicans in about a dozen other states.
- New Hampshire Republicans also attacked educational freedom, proposing a “teacher loyalty” bill that would ban teachers from discussing any “negative account or representation of the founding and history of the U.S,” undermining the ability of students to learn about our country’s history.
- If Oklahoma Republicans get their way, any individual can levy a complaint against a teacher who promotes positions that are “in opposition to closely held religious beliefs,” making it extremely difficult for science teachers to teach about evolution. A teacher could stand to face a $10,000 fine per incident if deemed guilty of teaching subjects that go against a Republican form of revisionist history.
- Virginia GOP leaders intended to deem the teaching of race as promoting “inherently divisive concepts.” Senate Democrats blocked the proposed measure, preventing such egregious whitewashing of history to go into effect.