Louisiana lawmakers are reexamining progressive programs in the state’s educational institutions, including content related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Rep. Valarie Hodges, R-District 64, introduced HR 13, which would require all public schools and universities to submit a report about DEI, CRT, and social-emotional learning programs.
The report would require information about the programs’ purpose, staff and funding to be given to the legislature no later than Oct. 31.
Rep. Beryl Amedée, R-District 51, who is currently assigned to the House Education Committee, says her constituents are worried about the controversial topics being taught in schools.
“They’re expected to agree to something that the school is promoting that is a cultural concept rather than the actual subject matter that they’re supposed to be teaching,” Amedée said.
The Louisiana Republican State Central Committee, the governing body of the state’s GOP, also signaled that Republican voters are in favor banning DEI programs from higher education.
“I believe that a lot of the DEI programs in our universities are taking things in a direction the majority of our citizens here in Louisiana would not support,” said Amedée, who is also a member of the committee. “I would rather our universities just get back to educating the subject matter that the students have signed up for.”
There is growing concern nationwide not only about the content but also the cost of diversity programs.
In South Carolina, DEI initiatives regularly cost taxpayers more than six-figures per university, with Clemson University’s exceeding $2.5 million.
As these programs rise in popularity, it is estimated that diversity and equity has become an $8 billion-a-year industry.
A spokesperson for the University of Louisiana said it would comply with any requests for information from the legislature if HR 13 passes.