Why is ‘Critical Race Theory’ Being Debated in South Dakota?
Your first question probably is; What is Critical Race Theory? The answer is - it is "an academic concept" that has been around since the early 80s.
The core idea is that racism is a social construct, and that it is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.
But that answer doesn't even begin to address the issues; numerous, nuanced, and major, associated with it. According to an analysis from DakotaNewsNow Critical Race Theory (CRT),
seeks to teach American history in a way that elevates the role of race and racism, in the nation’s history, and the impact it still has on the nation today. It is also referred to as “project-based civics,” or “action civics.
Why is it being debated by state officials in regard to school curriculums across the country? Because at the present time federal funds may be tied to its implementation in schools.
Our State Education Secretary Tiffany Sanderson received a letter this month, from an appropriations committee of the South Dakota Legislature asking her not to pursue federal funds "tied to the teaching of CRT", because the legislature itself wants to examine the theory and develop its own policies.
Governor Noem is also strongly against CRT becoming part of South Dakota school curriculums and state legislation in Iowa, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, has been passed banning it.
This complex and controversial issue centered around the teaching of our country's history, and from what perspective, will more than likely continue to be a subject of debate for years to come.