Oklahoma education leaders pass rules on bill banning teaching of certain critical race theories

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The Oklahoma State Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday on permanent rules for a bill that bans the teaching of certain critical race theories.

“CRT has no place in K-12 education,” State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said. “We are focused on ensuring that kids have the support they need, but also teachers have specificity on teaching the academic standards.”

The new rules on House Bill 1775 are now permanent. Hofmeister said the focus was on making sure the new rules are easy to follow.

“Our focus is to ensure teachers have specificity when that comes with the academic standard and that they have the tools they need to teach those standards,” she said.

House Bill 1775 was signed into law and went into effect on July 1, 2021.

The Oklahoma State Board of Education made some changes after receiving more than 1,000 public comments. Opponents of the law said the board “outright rejected recommendations.”

“Instead of relying on experiences of parents and on the feedback provided by hundreds of families and citizens, the board opted to play it safe at the expense of our children,” John Guinn made during the public comment portion of a meeting.

“Tremendous public comment and all of that has been worked through,” Hofmeister said. “Now, we have permanent rules that will go to the Legislature.”