SPONSOR: Wiemann

COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "Do Pass with HCS" by the Standing Committee on Elementary and Secondary Education by a vote of 11 to 7.

The following is a summary of the House Committee Substitute for HB 1835.

This bill outlines specific knowledge, skills, and competencies that the State Board of Education (SBE) is required to included in the performance and learning standards for social studies curriculum. Any social studies courses using the performance and learning standards in a developed curriculum are further restricted as outlined in the bill, which limits, among other things, political activism and participation in public policy internships.

The bill prohibits teachers, administrators, and employees of state agencies, school districts, and charter schools from certain actions and from requiring any course relating to specified concepts as described in the bill.

The bill restricts state agencies, school districts, and charter schools from private funding for curriculum, training, or professional development related to specified concepts outlined in the bill and prohibits the punishment of students for any student discussion on those concepts.

The following is a summary of the public testimony from the committee hearing. The testimony was based on the introduced version of the bill.

PROPONENTS: Supporters say that the current "social justice" movement in public education has been around for awhile and that this bill would preemptively preclude teaching concepts that are inherently racist.

Testifying for the bill were Representative Wiemann; Angela M Good; and Rachel Lively.

OPPONENTS: Those who oppose the bill say that this bill would ban controversial topics and allow extremists to "cancel" anything that they felt might be troublesome. The language might prevent districts from teaching about sexual harassment, from coming to lobby at the capital, and from learning the truth about history. This bill would create a teacher gag order on certain historic topics such as race or gender and prevent critical thinking and connections from being made without a threat of a lawsuit.

Testifying against the bill were Anne Calvert; Annie Bernaix; Arnie C. Ac Dienoff; Dawn Banks; Devon Rafael Teran, RevolucĂ­on Educativa; Heather Zychalski; Janice Colt; Jeff Wolman; John L. Sita; Kristie Johnson; Lorri Richardson; Pro Choice Missouri; Mary Ann Wynkoop; Mary Lindsay; Megan Von Arb; Michael Bourbina; Michelle Shepherd; Rebecca Shaw; Rebekah Berkowitz; Sharen Hunt; Sloan Sheffield Cowell; Susan Gibson; Susan Shumway; Teddy Wiberg; Victoria Godfrey-Zeller; Philip Deitch; Becky Yockey; Lynn Nienkemper; Missouri NEA; Abigail Pankau; Catherine B. Hasler; Catherine Holmes; Dava-Leigh Brush; Emily Klein; Jarrett Pillsbury; Jessica Roberts; Julie Scott; Laura Burkhardt; Linda Hoechst; Advocates of Planned Parenthood of The St Louis Region and Southwest Missouri; Marilyn Dollinger; Marissa Polzin; Nichole Brinkmann; Stephanie Rittgers; Suzanne McGinnis; Tom Ferri; Shira Berkowitz, Promo; Connor Luebbert, Missouri State Conference of The National Association of The Advancement of Colored People; and Emily Hornstra.

Written testimony has been submitted for this bill. The full written testimony can be found under Testimony on the bill page on the House website.

Statutes affected:
Introduced (3090H.01): 160.515
Committee (3090H.03): 160.515