UPDATE March 2022: The Indiana legislature failed to pass a ban on CRT despite a Republican supermajority in both houses. (Source: https://www.wfyi.org/news/articles/indiana-anti-crt-bill-failed-republican-supermajority)
Indiana has joined other states in fighting back against CRT in K-12 education. The Attorney General, Todd Rotika, issued a Parent’s Bill of Rights in June 2021. Meanwhile, the higher education system has embraced some aspects of CRT and shown support for BLM, with the Republican-controlled legislature remaining oddly silent on the issue.
Rotika issued the Parents’ Bill of Rights in June:
The attorney general’s office said that the new “bill of rights” explains how existing law enables parents to hold their school districts accountable and will serve as a resource for parents to “engage in meaningful civic dialogue that will ultimately benefit Indiana schools, parents, and students.”
The list features six rights, including “the right and expectation to participate in the selection and approval of academic standards for the State of Indiana” and “the right and expectation to question and review the curriculum taught in your child’s school by questioning local school board and school administrators.”
The announcement comes amid a debate over how the topics of history and race should be covered in school curricula. Rokita previously led a group of attorneys general in urging President Biden to rescind an education proposal that would fund critical race theory in schools. (source: https://www.nationalreview.com/news/indiana-ag-releases-parents-bill-of-rights-to-keep-crt-out-of-schools/)
Rotika is also credited with leading a group of 20 state attorneys general from across the nation in a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona urging the Biden administration to oppose consideration of CRT and related material in the grantmaking process. (source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/indiana-ag-todd-rokita-leads-multi-state-effort-to-oppose-critical-race-theory-in-schools/ar-AAKaKaX)
The Republican-controlled legislature has remained silent on CRT mandates in funding requests for the state’s public universities. The Federalist reported in June:
Multiple Indiana government agencies are involved in [a] conference pushing critical race theory, including state-funded universities. Nearly all state Republican leaders refused to comment.
State agencies in Republican-controlled Indiana are providing taxpayer dollars and marketing assistance to a far-left organization that is bringing two prominent critical race theory activists to a statewide teachers’ conference this summer.
Indiana Black Expo, a group that bills itself as “celebrat[ing] cultural diversity and inclusiveness across all races, ethnicities, nationalities, generations, socioeconomic levels and religious affiliations,” will host its annual education conference from July 13 to 15. Dena Simmons and Dr. Bettina L. Love, two activists who frequently rake in thousands from taxpayers to lecture on “systemic racism,” will deliver keynote speeches. Both did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment. (source: https://thefederalist.com/2021/06/22/why-is-republican-run-indiana-letting-tax-dollars-fund-critical-race-theory/)
No statewide CRT mandates exist for public universities in Indiana. However, several schools have expressed philosophical and fiscal support for anti-racist initiatives.