Republicans call for swift action on CRT rules

July 8, 2021

Ray Carter

In press releases, 78 Republican lawmakers have now called on State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister to allow full implementation of House Bill 1775 at the July 12 meeting of the State Board of Education.

House Bill 1775 banned Oklahoma’s K-12 schools from teaching several concepts associated with Critical Race Theory, including that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive,” or that individuals “should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex.”

HB 1775 went into effect on July 1, but state agency regulations that will guide its implementation have not yet been approved by the State Board of Education. As chair of that board, Hofmeister sets the agenda for the group, which will convene next week.

“Teachers deserve clear guidelines when they start this school year so they can obey the law created by the passage of House Bill 1775,” said Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore and an author of HB 1775. “To delay the implementation of rules that follow the intent of the legislation is a disservice to students, parents, and educators, causing needless fear and confusion over what is allowed and disallowed in our public-school classrooms.”

HB 1775’s other author—Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant—separately called on Hofmeister to address agency rules a day prior.

As of publication, Hofmeister had yet to publicly respond.

Since HB 1775 was signed into law, some Oklahoma teachers and administrators have publicly vowed to ignore the law, and the National Education Association, the parent group of Oklahoma’s largest teachers’ union, has publicly endorsed use of Critical Race Theory in public-school classrooms.

Sixty of the 82 Republicans in the Oklahoma House of Representatives are now calling for action, including House Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka and other top members of House leadership.

In the Senate, 18 of 39 Republicans have called on Hofmeister to act.

Along with West and Bullard, the lawmakers calling on Hofmeister to act are as follows: