GOP legislators ignore real issues, waste time on divisive ‘red meat’ for base

Casting aside the actual challenges facing Michigan schools, Republican state legislators this week have focused on advancing divisive legislation meant to fire up their political base and drive a wedge between educators and parents.

On Tuesday, the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee passed House Bill 5097, which would restrict Michigan educators from teaching students about many topics involving race or gender. The bill passed the state House in November, with 55 Republicans voting in favor of censoring educators and no Democrats in support.

“This bill does nothing to address the pressing issues we have in education policy while wasting time and stirring up the hysterical conspiracy theorists of [the GOP] base,” said Sen. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor, who along with Sen. Dayna Polehanki, D-Livonia, walked out of Tuesday’s committee meeting in protest.

Also on Tuesday, the House Education Committee took testimony on a package of bills that would prohibit schools from issuing mask requirements. The legislation would also bar schools from requiring vaccinations issued under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency process, such as the COVID-19 vaccines. Senate Bills 600-603 passed the Senate on a party-line vote last October.

Please take a moment to contact your state lawmakers and tell them to reject these political stunts and instead focus on the serious issues facing Michigan schools, educators and students, including the educator shortage, student mental health and school violence.

Legislation Newsroom

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