Alabama "Divisive Concepts" Bill Could Impact College Grant FundingBreaking News
tags: Alabama, teaching history, critical race theory, Divisive Concepts Bills
Another bill seeking to restrict teaching on race, gender and religion earned swift approval from Republican legislators in committee Tuesday afternoon.
The bill, SB292, was filed by Sen. Will Barfoot, R-Pike Road, late last week and was voted on despite a request for a public hearing. It’s a nearly identical companion to another Republican-sponsored bill, HB312, which is scheduled for a committee vote Wednesday.
“We should talk about the good, the bad and the ugly,” Barfoot said of classroom history lessons. “We should address the fallacies that have happened and the mistakes and bad decisions that have happened in the past. This bill does not do away with that.”
Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D-Birmingham, the only Democrat and Black legislator present in the committee, was the sole opposing vote. She questioned the timing and intentions of the bill, calling it a response to misinformed concerns about so-called critical race theory in American schools.
“Even though you don’t call it what it is and what the public considers it, that’s what we’re talking about,” Coleman-Madison told Barfoot.
The companion legislation replaces a trio of bills pre-filed earlier this summer that took aim at critical race theory, a legal framework, and other so-called “divisive concepts” pertaining to race and gender. HB312′s author, Rep. Ed Oliver, R-Dadeville, said some called his new bill a “freedom bill” that aimed to eliminate concerns about restricting classroom lessons.
The new bill does not include terms requested by higher education faculty that explicitly affirm academic and intellectual freedom, and no changes have been made to sections that discuss grant funding and K-12 instruction.