Bill filed in Texas House to withhold state funds from universities that teach critical race theory
AUSTIN, Texas - A bill has been filed in the Texas state legislature seeks to withhold state funds from universities that teach critical race theory.
This comes after critical race theory was banned in grades K-12 in 2021. Opponents say it was never taught at those grade levels to begin with.
HB 1607, filed by state Rep. Cody Harris (R-Palestine) says in part: an institution of higher education can't make any concept part of its curriculum that says, "an individual, by virtue of the individual's race or sex is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously."
Otherwise, the institution would be "ineligible to receive state funds."
Harris posted on his Facebook page saying, "Our American values will not be watered down or twisted for the political agenda of the far left. Building on our work from last session to ban Critical Race Theory in our K-12 classrooms, I filed House Bill 1607 which will keep it from being taught at Texas college and university campuses. Texas must push back on the progressive agenda to indoctrinate the minds of our future and I’m proud to help lead the effort!"
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Critical race theory has been a controversial topic in recent years.
Last February, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called for an end to university tenure and making teaching CRT grounds for firing. This came after the U.T. Faculty Council approved a resolution saying educators, not politicians, should make decisions about teaching.
"We didn't say, 'you don't talk about race.' We didn't say that you can't teach about slavery. We didn't say that you ignore our history. What we said is you're not going to teach a theory that says, we're going to judge you when you walk in the classroom by the color of your skin. That if you're white, you were born a racist that that's normal, not an aberration, and you're an oppressor. And if you are a person of color, you're a victim," Patrick said in February 2022.
Last August, the State Board of Education met to discuss updating the social studies curriculum.
"Sounds like the Republicans are continuing to want to whitewash our history. The thing that is exceptional about America is that we do have a long history that is also somewhat painful," Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democratic Party, said in August 2022. "Unfortunately, we have to recognize those hard truths and that hard history, so we don't repeat it."