- UCLA Law follows proposed restrictions on teaching critical race theory
(Reuters) – Efforts to ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools and universities have been proposed or adopted in 49 U.S. states, according to a new analysis from the University of California at Los Angeles. School of Law.
The law school’s CRT Advanced Tracking Project has identified nearly 500 jurisdictions where critical race theory restrictions have been proposed in the past year by state and federal lawmakers, school boards local and other public officials. The school released its findings on Tuesday.
Florida, Virginia and Missouri had the most proposed restrictions, the researchers found. They also identified 29 bills introduced by US lawmakers that attempt to restrict critical race theory at the federal level, though none have passed.
Critical race theory, which emerged from law schools in the 1980s, argues that racism and bias, intentional or unintentional, are embedded in American laws and institutions.
UCLA Law in 2000 was the first law school to establish a program dedicated to critical race theory, which supports legal research in the region.
Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, who helped advance and define critical race theory, is on the school’s faculty.
Critical race theory has become a political flashpoint in recent years. Conservative politicians, parents and right-wing media outlets have used the term to denounce discussions of racism, “white privilege” or diversity initiatives in American schools.
According to the UCLA tracker, 20% of anti-critical race theory proposals last year were made at the local school board level. California, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia have seen the most council-level action.
In Democratic-controlled California, five of eight proposals made by school boards to restrict the teaching of critical race theory have passed, researchers have found.
In September 2020, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget banned critical race theory training in the federal government at the request of former President Donald Trump. President Joe Biden later reversed that ban.
Of the measures UCLA is tracking, 94% involve restricting critical race theory teaching in K-12 schools or colleges and universities.
The most common form of enforcement among these proposals is withholding funding or issuing fines to individual teachers, administrators, schools or districts who violate the restrictions, researchers have found.
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