Lawmakers in the GOP-controlled Louisiana State Legislature killed a bill on Wednesday that would have required K-12 schools and higher education institutions to submit a report to the state detailing all its critical race theory (CRT) and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
The Louisiana state House Committee on Education voted 6-5 against House Resolution 13 which would mandate that K-12 schools and higher education institutions report how much they spend on CRT and DEI programs. The legislation aimed to examine what resources were being spent on such initiatives because “activities offered by the state’s education institutions merit further examination,” Republican state Rep. Valarie Hodges, the sponsor of the bill, told The Associated Press.
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Opponents of the bill called the legislation “unnecessary” and questioned why some lawmakers want to crack down on CRT and DEI initiatives, the AP reported. “Forget the money,” Democratic state Rep. Tammy Phelps said to Hodges, according to the AP. “What is your problem with inclusion?”
Monty Sullivan, president of Louisiana’s Community and Technical College System, testified against the legislation calling it a “racist instrument,” the Gambit, a Louisiana-based outlet, reported.
“I cannot go against something that I was a part of establishing,” Republican state Rep. Vincent St. Blanc, who helped hire Sullivan for his role at the college system, said, according to the Gambit. “I have a big problem with this [resolution], and I’m going to do the right thing.”
“Basically all it does… it’s seeking transparency and clarification on how, if at all, the concepts of DEI, SEL [social emotional learning] and CRT are being implemented,” Hodges told the Daily Advertiser, a Louisiana-based outlet. “Basically the report is just requesting that we could have this information to have a clearer picture of what’s being done.”
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