A bill prefiled for the 2022 Kentucky Legislative Session would limit discussions of systemic racism in schools

Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDKY) – A bill pre-filed Tuesday for the 2022 Kentucky Legislative Session is already garnering some criticism.

It’s Bill Request 60, prefiled by Republican Representative Joseph Fischer. The bill would prohibit public K-12 schools from offering any curriculum or classroom discussions about “designated concepts related to race, sex, and religion.”

More specifically, according to the bill, teachers could not use learning materials that promote division between or resentment of different groups of people.

Schools also could not offer courses or use supplemental instructional materials with the concept that the commonwealth or the United States is “fundamentally or irredeemably racist or sexist.”

It’s the latest in a national push by conservatives against critical race theory, an academic framework that studies racism as institutional in the U.S. and a systemic part of American life.

Fischer’s bill does not specifically ban critical race theory, though it does prohibit discussion of some of its key components.

Fischer wasn’t immediately available for comment, but Democratic Governor Andy Beshear was asked about the bill Tuesday.

“I think once you start legislating what can and can’t be taught in schools, especially in the framework of politics, it gets really dangerous,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our schools should be providing the best education for our children, they should be able to have open and real dialogue, and this idea that we would try to take something like this or almost anything and because of politics or things going on around the country legislate what exactly will be taught in schools is more than a little concerning to me.”

The bill also states someone could file a complaint with the Attorney General if they think a teacher discusses any of the banned topics.

If the AG finds a violation and that continues, schools could lose $5,000 in state funding per day.

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