INDIANOPOLIS – Despite the protests of teachers, the bill of the House of Representatives, called “anti-CRT”, is now returning to the full Senate.
Bill 1134 has been subject to scrutiny by teachers since it was introduced in January. At a Senate meeting on education and career development on Wednesday, he passed 8-5.
The noise of teachers and other advocates of education led to the initial dilution of the bill by the Senate committee. During a vote on the committee, Senator Jean Lazing of Oldenburg said a conversation with voters and Indiana Department of Education officials had led to her vote against.
“I have superintendents who oppose it, I have corporations that oppose it, I have a lot of teachers who oppose it,” Leasing said. “I have people on the case who express their concern that this bill does not go far enough.”
Leasing said the bill became the most difficult vote of her time on the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development.
“For me today, the only right voice is against,” Leasing said.
Senator Fadi Kadura, Indianapolis, said hundreds of thousands of people are unhappy with HB 1134, in part because they do not trust the context provided by the House of Representatives.
“The premises, the context and the whole initiative of the House of Representatives, the goal itself were invented to silence people,” Kadura said.
Senator Eddie Melton, D-Gary, also voted against the bill.
Melton said he asked Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita why he wrote The Parents’ Bill, which is cited as a participant in critical arguments of racial theory. Melton said Rokita’s response does not justify moving forward with the legislation.
“Just because something makes us uncomfortable shouldn’t interfere with the discussion,” Melton said. “No one here is accusing the white man of being a slave owner or anything to do with this story. However, I still feel the benefits of it or the impact. ”
The amendment adjusts the training committees, adds a commission on summer training
An additional amendment by Sen. Linda Rogers, R-Granger, will require curriculum advisory committees to send information to the Department of Education and the Indiana General Assembly. If parents are asked to read the materials, the commission will have to respond. The Committee will also be allowed to consider the materials of the invited speakers.
The amendment will add third-party mental health surveys in schools to the list of items that require parental permission. It would also address issues concerning students who need parental permission for mental health services in cases where one parent causes mental health problems by amplifying language. It will also have a summer training commission that will review mental health services and parental consent in schools.
Amendment 34 was passed 8-5, without testimony in committee. Senator Dennis Cruz, R-Auburn, joined four Democrats on the committee in a vote against the amendment.
Rogers’ amendment was the only one passed by the committee, despite Democrats making ten others to the split bill.
Attempts by Senate Democrats to amend HB 1134 have failed
Discussions in the controversial HB 1134 committee ended with the adoption of more Republican-written amendments that softened the original bill, and the rejection of several amendments by the author’s Democrats.
Melton wrote an amendment requiring schools to teach black history. Melton said the amendment would reflect Indiana’s current charter on Holocaust education. The amendment almost got into the bill, receiving 7-6 votes. Republican Sen. Kyle Walker of Indianapolis and Senator Scott Baldwin of Noblesville voted in favor of the amendment.
Melton, a member of the Black Indiana Legislature, burst into tears when he expressed disappointment that the committee had not passed the amendment.
“Today, I ask that before this bill comes to light, that this body and your colleagues, when you go to the polls, seriously consider the message you are sending if we cannot adopt a simple amendment to teach our children about the sins of this country, ”Melton said.
Senator J.D. Ford, Indianapolis, author of two amendments to the bill. One, which Ford said would allow the bill to provide transparency for parents, would remove everything in the bill except requiring schools to use a learning management system that is available to parents. Another amendment, authored by Ford, would remove references to the Department of Education in the bill, which Ford said would provide local oversight. Both failed.
Kadura proposed in the amendment to transfer the entire bill to the summer training committee. It failed with a score of 9-4.
Shelley Yoder, D-Bloomington, author of five amendments to the bill. The amendments will send the topic of student mental health to the summer curriculum, ask IDOE to create a model of ideal parental involvement in schools, codify constitutional anti-discrimination in state law, apply legislation to statutory and private schools and ensure legislation cannot affect extended placement or double. All these amendments failed.
Earlier, the bill was “diluted” by amendments
Earlier, the bill was softened by Rogers’ amendment, which removed language that encourages civil action against teachers for breaking the law, removed many of the “divisive concepts” in the original bill, and required parents to have access to school management systems. instead of requiring educators to post all materials and lesson plans online. Common learning management systems include Google Classroom, Canvas and Moodle.
Despite the amendment, more than 200 people signed up to testify on the bill, with about 90% of them against, according to Senate Education and Development Senate Committee Chairman Jeff Raatz, R-Richmond. The Indiana Public Education Coalition also held an Action Day to unite teachers against the bill and others making their way through the Indiana state legislature.
The amended bill will now be sent back to the full Senate. If he is admitted and returned to the House, his future is uncertain.
Last week, Anthony Cook’s spokesman, R-Cicero, said he disagreed with many of the changes Rogers had made to his bill.
“We have about 10 things here. I can agree with about six of them, ”Cook said. “More than likely because it moves him to a better position.”
Taylor Wooten is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news site run by Franklin College student-journalists.