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Lawmakers to consider major changes to Indiana curriculum bill

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Senate leaders are expected to vote on a controversial Republican-backed bill that would limit what can be taught in Indiana classrooms.

It’s House Bill 1134 and supporters said it would increase transparency, while critics argue the bill would censor instruction.

One critic of the bill is the spokesperson for the Indiana Democratic Party, Drew Anderson.

“The intent of this bill was to politicize classrooms,” said Anderson. “Even with the makeup of the new policies that they amend in this legislation, [it] is still a slippery slope to where it allows bad actors the opportunity to object to curriculums that have been and issues that have already been solved. Like I said before, that’s the Holocaust, racism. It’s topics that maybe difficult, but they’re necessary because it’s American history.”

Anderson said it’s like “big brother” on the shoulders of educators.

“This bill, primarily, seeks to eliminate survey and data collection. It also seeks to eliminate a lot of divisive concepts that have become the standard in many classrooms through a lot of the harmful curriculum and false historical curriculum, such as the 1619 Project. As well as interjecting emotional nonsense into the classroom,” said Tony Kinnett, executive director of Chalkboard Review and Choice Media.”

He continued to say, “In my personal opinion, I don’t know if it accomplishes this well because there are a few curriculums transparency measures that are really good attempts, but not necessarily the best way to move forward.”

Arguments have raged for weeks over this bill.

Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Mario Massillamany said he wants the bill to pass and that there needs to be more parental input in schools.

“One of the things I like about this bill is they’re creating a different agency in which they will oversee complaints regarding school systems,” explained Massillamany.

State Senator Linda Rogers said she wants to remove many of the provisions in the controversial school curriculum bill. Among those amendments is removing the requirement for teachers to post their lists of learning materials. School districts, also, would not be required to create curriculum advisory committees or be impartial in teaching about historical events.

Massillamany continued with the bill was adapted because of virtual learning from the pandemic. He said this gave parents the opportunity to see what their children were are being taught.

Lawmakers are expected to consider the amendments and vote Wednesday.