“This is a Republican attempt to defund education by usurping local district policies and entangling school districts, as well as independent charter schools, in lawsuits based solely on opinions and not facts,” Democratic state Rep. LaKeshia Myers, of Milwaukee, said before debate began.
Both sides accuse the other of sowing division: those who aim to ban critical race theory, Wichgers included, claim it is rooted in “creating conflict and division between people of different races,” although that is not the intent of its authors. Myers said that the bill is “a poor attempt at reverse psychology to sow seeds of division and hate by playing on the fears of a shrinking white majority.”
The Assembly’s Democratic minority leader, Gordon Hintz, described the bill as the “white supremacy preservation act” before debate on it began.
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, defended the measure, suggesting that teaching critical race theory concepts would be racist.
The Assembly passed the bill on a 60-38 vote, with all Republicans in support and Democrats against.
Eight Republican governors have signed bills or budgets into law banning the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 schools or limiting how teachers can discuss racism and sexism in the classroom. Similar bills have been introduced or other steps have been taken in 19 additional states, according to an Education Week analysis.
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