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Senate Republican to propose narrower school curriculum bill

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Senate Republican on Tuesday said she wants to remove many of the provisions in a controversial school curriculum bill.

Arguments have raged at the Statehouse for weeks over the bill, which would prohibit schools from teaching several concepts related to race and injustice and require schools to have curriculum advisory committees. On Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Linda Rogers, R-Granger, released a comprehensive amendment she said seeks to address educators’ concerns.

The amendment removes language that sets up a complaint process and allows for lawsuits due to violations of the bill. It takes out language to require schools to be impartial when teaching about historical events.

It also narrows the list of off-limits concepts from eight to three: that one group is inherently superior or inferior to another, that one group should be treated adversely or preferentially, and that individuals, by virtue of their traits, are responsible for the past actions of those who shared their traits.

The Indiana Democratic Party almost immediately condemned the amendment. Executive Director Lauren Ganapini released a statement saying the bill still falls short.

“Indiana Republicans are finally admitting their culture wars against public education have crossed the line,” she said in her statement. “The latest version of HB 1134 remains a slippery slope allowing bad actors to demand neutrality on issues, divide communities, and diminish Hoosier values.”

Rogers’ announcement came a day before a Senate committee is scheduled to take testimony and vote on the bill. She said she plans to introduce the amendent for a committee vote at the hearing.