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Scaled-back version of Indiana school curricula bill moves forward

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Posted at 9:07 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 21:07:02-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A rolled-back version of a bill aimed at restricting what teachers can and cannot say about race, history and politics in classrooms has been adopted by the Senate education committee.

It comes after public outrage and criticism from Indiana educators.

The committee adopted significant changes that watered down much of what was in House Bill 1134, the Associated Press reports.

A hearing on the bill ended around 6:35 p.m., while educators, students and concerned Hoosiers waited outside the Senate chambers to testify.

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Committee Chair Sen. Jeff Raatz said about 91% of those who signed up to testify were against the bill and its amendments. The rest were neutral or in support.

Not all who signed up to testify got a chance to speak at the podium.

Raatz said he tried to randomly pick names from the list to “get a good mix” and include students.

Sen. Fady Qaddoura, D-Indianapolis said there’s bipartisan opposition to the bill and pointed out some of the original language that is still included in the amendment. He said he will continue working with the committee on the bill.

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The amendment to the bill will be brought back up by the committee next Wednesday.

Sen. Linda Rogers R,-Grangers, who introduced the amendments, said the bill is still a work in progress. She suggested including a portion addressing mental health and asked lawmakers to bring their constructive criticism to her.

The bill is authored by Rep. Anthony Cook, R-Cicero, co-authored by Reps. J.D. Prescott, R-Union City and Chuck Goodrich, R-Noblesville and Sponsored by Sen. Rogers.