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Indiana House approves controversial school curriculum bill, sends it to the Senate

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Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
Some House Republicans joined Democrats in opposing HB 1134, but the bill received plenty of "yes" votes to advance to the Senate for consideration.

The Indiana House approved a controversial school content and curriculum bill Wednesday, after more than an hour and a half of discussion on the House floor and making some changes to the bill earlier this week.

Bill author Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) said recent changes to House Bill 1134 aim to address concerns that it would add an unmanageable amount of work onto schools' workloads or prevent teachers from condemning racism.

The changes included an easing back of requirements to post learning materials online, and an added language for the Indiana Department of Education to provide guidance to educators about how to follow the parameters outlined in the bill, among other things.

READ MORE: Indiana Senate kills controversial school curriculum bill after finding 'no path forward'

But concerns persisted from some lawmakers, like Rep. Carolyn Jackson (D-Hammond), about how the overall legislation could impact schools – especially as the pandemic continues impacting students and their learning.

"I think we need to step back and look at the situation before we create another obstacle and fall on our face," she said.

Many lawmakers opposed to the bill worry it could reduce the number of teachers willing to work in the state.

The House approved the legislation 60 to 37. It now heads to the Senate.

Contact reporter Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.