New education legislation signed into law | Letters

Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed into law ESSB 5044, a new education framework. It begins: “An act relating to equity, cultural competency, and dismantling institutional racism in the public school system.”

As everyone is quite aware these days, accusations of “racism is systemic in America” are constant and loud.

Now, we are told racism is institutionalized in education: in schools, in curricula, in administration, in teaching, in the very buildings themselves. Really!? Have school boards, administrators and OSPI all been complicit in breaking federal law for over 55 years? Of course not!

But that’s what ESSB 5044 implies. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 made illegal any and all forms of institutionalized or systemic racism at both local and federal levels.

So why is ESSB 5044 proclaiming institutional racism in the public school system when it has been outlawed for decades? This new law requires all teachers and administrators to develop and undergo training to further the goal of dismantling institutional racism. Why?

I strongly encourage people research Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the “1619 Project” for themselves. These destructive ideologies are being forced into corporate America, the military, government and now our schools, causing massive anger, dismay and division. CRT, at its core, proclaims that all whites are oppressors and all non-whites are oppressed. Many states are farther along with implementing CRT into their schools, but I contend that ESSB 5044 could be leading Washington state down that same road. Look into Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia. It has become ground zero in the CRT battle.

The powerful NEA teachers union had vociferously denied advocating for CRT until it came to light that it voted to commit over $127,000 to advance a pro-CRT agenda — and to fight back against anti-CRT rhetoric. Hmmm.

Jim Keeffe

Fall City