After Republicans at the state level have advanced dozens of bills to ban the teaching of critical race theory and other so-called “divisive concepts” in schools, Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, is spearheading a federal effort to get “racist teaching” out of K-12 classrooms.
Roy on Thursday will introduce the Combating Racist Teaching in Schools Act – called the CRT Act for short – which would block federal funding from elementary or secondary schools that promote “race-based theories” generally attributed to CRT.
The bill comes in response to reports of schools teaching concepts that Republicans and parents have lambasted as racist. In March last year, parents at a school in San Antonio, Texas, expressed outrage after their children were segregated into two groups by their hair color and treated differently as part of an “antiracism” lesson. In 2021, school choice activist Christopher Rufo called attention to a report of third-graders in Cupertino, California, being instructed on how the “dominant culture” in America” is “White,” “cisgender” and “Christian,” among other traits.
Numerous other examples of such lessons have prompted states like Georgia and Florida to take action to ban CRT. Critics say these efforts have a chilling effect on free speech in the classroom, but Roy’s bill contains an explicit provision that states, “nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the speech of a student, teacher or any other individual outside of a school setting.”
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The legislation identifies several such “race-based theories,” including teaching that “any race is inherently superior or inferior to any other race, color, or national origin”; “the United States is a fundamentally racist country”; or that “the Declaration of Independence or Constitution of the United States are fundamentally racist documents.”
It would also target concepts that teach an individual’s moral character and conscious or unconscious biases are based on their race, or that members of a certain race, color or natural origin are responsible for actions committed by other members of their race.
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Schools that include these concepts in curricula and reading lists, or that host seminars, workshops or trainings with CRT concepts, would lose federal funding if the bill becomes law.
“The American people gave House Republicans the power of the purse in November. We must use this power to stop funneling dollars into an education system that is poisoning the minds of our children and put parents back into the driver’s seat of their kid’s education,” Roy said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
The CRT Act is co-sponsored by Reps. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., Pete Sessions, R-Texas, Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Dan Bishop, R-N.C., Tom McClintock, R-Calif., and Alex Mooney, R-W.Va.
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.