ACTION ALERT - Stop the Education Committee's Insanity!

The level of extreme rhetoric and, unfortunately, actual legislation coming out of the Kansas House Committee on Education this week is unbelievable. We need you to make yourself heard, now, to let the members of the House of Representatives know, in no uncertain manner, how strongly we oppose these actions.

  • Hundreds of you sent emails and these bills were postponed! Thank you!

Specifically, yesterday, the leadership of the House Education Committee disgraced their offices and underhandedly pushed forward a bill banning Common Core curriculum in Kansas schools. The original bill in this session was HB 2676, and had not yet received a hearing. In a stunning act of subterfuge, the Committee published their agenda with just an innocuous talk on "The History of Education." Instead, it was a screed delivered by a well known Tea Party activist. Immediately after this, the Committee leadership arranged to take last year's failed anti-Common Core bill, HB 2292, strip it of all its content, and replace it with the content of this year's bill. Thus the "old" bill, HB 2292, which did receive a hearing on Feb 23, 2015, now containing this year's legislation, which is more restrictive even than last year's, did not require a hearing, and was quickly passed out by voice vote. HB 2292 is now ready for a vote on the House floor, though the people of Kansas have not had any opportunity to voice their opinion.

We urge you to let the Kansas House know that this is unacceptable, both as to the content of the bill, and the subverting of the democratic process.

In addition, earlier this week, the committee passed out for action both HB 2199, mandating that all sexual education in Kansas schools be "opt in," and HB 2207, a bill that originally promoted ethnic studies in Kansas schools, but was perverted to become a racist, anti-muslim, isolationist piece of propaganda.

Here are the details:

HB 2292 - This bill illegally requires all Kansas schools to stop teaching anything that supports Common Core, and could include AP classes, IB classes, the ACT, and even the Lexia reading program, among countless other programs. It could cost as much as $9 million to create new curriculum and testing. It subverts the Kansas Constitution, which declares that the State Board of Education shall decide on curriculum matters. And it hurts the reputation of Kansas schools, and the excellence Gov Brownback is so fond of touting. Without college placement courses, without national standards, Kansas is likely to return to the laughing stock status it had fifteen years ago when we were the "intelligent design" poster child. Our children deserve rigorous, national standards and testing to stand with their peers and achieve at the highest levels.

HB 2199 - This bill would require that all sexual education be opt in. That means that the only children receiving any sexual education in public schools would be those whose parents sought it out and required that their children attend. In addition, all materials, lessons, and content would have to be sequestered, lest children who were not opted in might run across it. As state law exists now, districts are allowed to determine whether sexual education is opt in or opt out. At the very least, that should remain the standard. This law is an incredible overreach, and perfect example of morality being codified as law.

HB 2207 - This bill was originally an honest, exemplary piece of legislation, promoting ethnic studies in Kansas high schools. In Committee this week, the extremists inserted language that perverted the spirit, making this a racist, isolationist bill. Instead of promoting ethnic studies, it now specifically prevents the exploration of ethnicities beyond the standard African-American, Latino, and Native American. Islamic ethnicities? Excluded. In addition, it now prevents the use of textbooks or curriculum that contains "social justice remedies," which is an extremist codeword for... well, we're not sure exactly what. Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington? Suffragette demonstrations in the early 20th century? Affirmative action? This is a reactionary, extreme, racist piece of legislation that should never pass in Kansas, the home of Brown v. Board of Education.

We cannot let these actions by an extreme minority damage the reputation of Kansas, cripple the excellence of our schools, and destroy the future of our children.

Please use this link to send an email to your Kansas House Representative.

  • Hundreds of you sent emails and these bills were postponed! Thank you!

Thank you.

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