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The debate over CRT has included a high degree of obfuscation all over America, but few states have been shrouded in as much confusion as Kansas. The inquiries by various legislators into public schools and public universities have, in themselves, caused controversy. Official denials by various state agencies have been undermined by leaks and revelations of trainings and curriculum infused with CRT concepts.

K-12 Education

Media reports state there is no evidence of CRT in K-12 education in Kansas. However, several public protests have indicated otherwise. Fox News reported a teacher in the Shawnee Mission School District was fired AND fined after refusing a vaccine mandate and mandatory CRT training for teachers. (source) That training, the Deep Equity critical race theory training, cost the district $400,000. The school district took measures to keep this material away from the public, until the teacher blew the whistle.

The 2021 legislative session ended before lawmakers could introduce a bill banning CRT in K-12 schools, but several legislators have expressed interest in filing one in the 2022 session. The state Board of Education issued a unanimous statement that CRT will not be required in standards for graduation, but further in the statement, they sought to separate such concepts as bias training, systemic racism, and intersectionality—all hallmarks of CRT. The statement also shifted the focus to school districts, stating they had no authority to dictate curriculum at the state level. (source) The Kansas Policy Institute provided further detail on the contradictory statement that creates more confusion than it clarifies. (source). The Olathe School District issued a statement stating that they do not use CRT for its educational standards, but also reiterated its strong support for DEI. Evidence shows the statement may not be fully based in fact. (source)

Higher Education

The Kansas House Education Committee, seeking more information on CRT at Kansas colleges, asked the state’s public universities to complete a survey to determine the level to which they include it in the curriculum. The response included accusations of censorship, fascism, and a refusal to answer. (source) It doesn’t appear any statewide mandate exists in the Kansas Board of Higher Education, but several public universities have embraced it to varying degrees.

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