State legislative proposals to restrict the freedom to teach and learn have increased by 250 percent in 2022 compared to last year, according to a report released today by PEN America, the free expression and literary organization.
Most of the bills focus on K-12 education, but 39 percent of bills have targeted colleges and universities, compared with 30 percent last year.
The bills generally focus on race, and ban the teaching, for example, of critical race theory. But more bills would ban things related to LGBTQ issues. Last year, 5 bills banned these teachings, but this year 23 did so.
“Educators are under attack from legislators bent on depriving our children of an education that is open to a breadth of perspectives,” said Jeremy C. Young, senior manager of PEN America’s Free Expression and Education program and the lead author of the report.
“Vibrant learning opportunities are essential for democratic citizenship to flourish. But this report confirms a grim reality: some elected leaders are marching schools backward, and trampling on students’ free expression in the process.”