District 72 Newsletter
Newsletter, April 22, 2021
As we draw near to the end of the session the schedule becomes fairly routine. We gavel in, we caucus on the bills we intend to debate that day, we wait while Democrats file amendments, then we debate those bills. What isn’t routine is that on some days we are done by early afternoon, and other days we go well into the evening. We begin each day not knowing when we will be done.
One of the more significant bills this week that we passed in the House was the Administration and Regulatory budget that includes many of the state government functions such as the governor’s office budget, Secretary of State, Auditor of State, Capitol building expenses, and many other items. Included in this budget was also the appropriation for the Broadband incentive program of $100 million that will be overseen by the office of the Chief Information Officer. This appropriation now goes to the Senate.
I have written several times in my newsletter about the issues with the Ames School District teaching a “Week of Action” using curricula from the Black Lives Matter movement that included disturbing and inappropriate ideologies about race, sexuality, and one-sided political dogma. At the core of this curricula is the promotion of racist ideas based on the “Critical Race Theory” (CRT), and the promotion of sexual variants and practices that most consider inappropriate for school children. These newsletters have spurred parents to bring disturbing events to my attention about what is being taught in many more of our state’s public schools than I have been aware of. One of my colleagues in the House shared that their child had been given an assignment to write about their “Whiteness”, an ideological and racist notion promoted in CRT. Another of this colleague’s children was given reading examples that were inappropriately sexual. I’ve been shown other examples from other constituents along these same lines. These examples are not coming from just Ames and the handful of other school districts that the Ames district listed as adopting similar curriculum. These are coming from smaller school districts in other areas. The use of these inappropriate reading examples is in reality a stealth way for our public schools to insert Left Wing political ideology into the curriculum without it being literally a component of the curriculum. The lesson plan for an English writing class would not show these examples that are offered randomly to students. Parents have been shocked at what their children have been given.
Adding to my concern is that the U.S. Department of Education has just this week issued a proposed rule that aims to encourage and promote curriculum and lessons that include more CRT under the guise of the much discredited “1619 Project” and other sources. This proposed rule is titled “Proposed Priorities – American History and Civics Education” and appeared in the Federal Register on April 19, 2021.
Based on the information I’ve been shown, I must suggest that the parents of all our public school children begin to monitor all of the lessons and reading examples their children are receiving. I suspect it will be an eye opener for many. Parents should also begin making it a practice to make copies of any materials that seem inappropriate. Not only do I suspect that our parents may find some surprises, but I also suspect that many of our school boards are not aware of precisely what is being offered to our students. When the “Common Core Curriculum” was adopted a few years ago I was very concerned about what that curriculum included in terms of reading Exemplars, and it appears my concerns were well founded. I want to encourage all of our public school parents to get to know their school board members and administrators and teachers and share any inappropriate materials with them. It is clear that we as a society have been far too complacent about what our public schools are teaching our kids. You may even consider running for school board yourself. It’s important that we have people on our school boards who share the point of view that the role of a school is to educate not indoctrinate.
As always, I look forward to hearing from you during the session.