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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Oklahoma lawmakers have introduced a spate of bills this session to impose new restrictions on school curriculum and teacher training as well as introduce learning materials from conservative groups into classrooms. 

ADDITIONAL READING: After banning ‘critical race theory,’ Oklahoma lawmakers seek further school curriculum restrictions

  • Senate Bill 1149 by Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, and House Bill 4328 by Rep. Wendi Stearman, R-Collinsville, would require schools to post all professional development materials for teacher and student curriculum online, as well as disclose how the materials were selected. Much of the bills’ language comes from model legislation from both the Goldwater Institute and the Manhattan Institute.
  • Senate Bill 1250 by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, and Senate Bill 1174 by Sen. George Burns, R-Pollard, would prevent schools from offering credit or extra points for student political activity or lobbying. The bills also prohibit teachers from showing bias while discussing current events in class. The bill would prevent teachers from being compelled to talk about “a particular current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs.” The bills include some word-for-word language copied from model legislation from the group No Left Turn in Education and the conservative group the National Association of Scholars.
  • Senate Bill 1508 by Bullard would require school districts to submit to the State Department of Education detailed expenditure reports on diversity, inclusion and social justice training for teachers and administrators.
  • Senate Bill 1142 by Sen. Shane Jett, R-Shawnee, would outlaw teaching of social-emotional learning in schools.
  • Senate Bill 1652 by Jett would require higher education institutions to post their budget for student and teacher diversity curriculum online.
  • Senate Bill 1654 by Jett would ban voluntary surveys in schools from asking questions about sexuality or gender and would ban school libraries and curriculum from including books that deal with sexuality or gender.
  • Senate Bill 1125 by Bullard and Rep. Danny Williams, R-Seminole, would require schools to post teacher training and professional development materials online.
  • House Bill 3197 by Williams would allow for Oklahoma schools to use supplemental curriculum from the conservative group WallBuilders and Hillsdale College.
  • House Bill 2988 by Rep. Jim Olsen, R-Roland, would prohibit teaching The New York Times 1619 Project in schools.
  • Senate Bill 1141 by Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman, would ban college requirements for classes unrelated to a student’s core area of study dealing with gender, sex, equality, or racial diversity.
  • Senate Bill 1169 by Standridge would require teaching “patriotic education” about Oklahoma history in the form of the “1907 Project,” a set of curriculum to be developed by appointees from the House, Senate and Governor. It is copied from similar legislation in Texas. 
  • Senate Bill 1401 by Standridge, labeled as the “Critical Race Theory Curriculum Elimination Act,” would impose civil penalties of at least $10,000 on school personnel who teach lessons related to critical race theory require the employee to be fired and blacklisted from educational employment for at least five years.
  • Senate Bill 1102 by Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, would require social studies classes to teach at least 45 minutes every Nov. 7 on “Victims of Communism Day.” The day, proposed by libertarian law professor Ilya Somin, is also the subject of model legislation proposed by the American Legislative Exchange Council. Nov. 7 is the day of the “October Revolution” in Russia, referred to as such because Russia at the time used the Julian calendar.
  • Senate Bill 1121 by Dahm would require schools to distribute historical Thanksgiving day proclamations, all of which list the importance and role of Christian faith.
  • Senate Bill 1382 by Dahm would add reading requirements for high schoolers that contain some theological themes.
  • Senate Bill 1097 by Dahm would require the Oklahoma State Department of Education to contract for curriculum for a four-year pilot project for 11th graders on U.S. history, government and civics. The bill narrowly tailors the subject areas to align with free high school curriculum courses from Hillsdale College, a Michigan-based private school founded by Christian abolitionists during the 1840s.
The Frontier
The Frontier, a nonprofit newsroom that produces fearless journalism with impact in Oklahoma

First published in The Frontier March 3, and published here under Creative Commons licenseFree Press publishes this report as a collaborative effort to provide the best coverage of state issues that affect our readers.

Last Updated March 6, 2022, 8:32 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor