The Journal Gazette
Saturday, January 15, 2022 1:00 am

Senate kills school curriculum bill

'No path forward seen; House version to get floor vote

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Senate Republicans on Friday killed a divisive concepts bill inspired by the critical race theory debate – a move that puts the entire issue in critical condition.

Senate Bill 167 has stirred emotions and led to national ridicule after its author initially said Nazism should be taught in an impartial manner. It was pulled from a committee calendar Wednesday for further discussion behind closed doors.

“Members of the Senate continued to work on Senate Bill 167 but have determined there is no path forward for it and it will not be considered,” Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said.

The bill had various provisions, including transparency requirements for teachers to post educational materials online for parental review. But the controversy focused on outlining concepts considered divisive that educators shouldn't teach.

Supporters want neutral instruction on controversial issues and those against the bill said it would have a chilling effect on topics such as racism.

The House has its own version with virtually the same language – House Bill 1134. It passed out of committee and goes to the full House next week. Rep. Ed Delaney, D-Indianapolis, sent a statement late Friday saying “Members of the House continued to work on House Bill 1134, but should agree there is no path forward and bury it.”

It is unclear how the Senate would react if the House legislation passes. Before the session, Bray told reporters he preferred a focus simply on curriculum transparency rather than trying to define what teachers can and can't say in class.

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