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Reynolds signs law prohibiting teaching of critical race theory

The Iowa governor signed a total of 28 bills into law Tuesday, seven being budget-related.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Editor's Note: The video above is from May 18. Read more here

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Tuesday prohibiting government agencies, school districts and public universities from teaching critical race theory, claiming to teach the subject is "not education." 

“Critical Race Theory is about labels and stereotypes, not education. It teaches kids that we should judge others based on race, gender or sexual identity, rather than the content of someone’s character,” Reynolds said in a statement. “I am proud to have worked with the legislature to promote learning, not discriminatory indoctrination.”

The law itself doesn't prohibit any of these entities from promoting racial, cultural, ethnic or intellectual diversity of inclusiveness. 

However, it does ban teaching, advocating and promoting "specific defined concepts," which includes all of the following: 

  • That one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.
  • That the United States of America and the state of Iowa are fundamentally or systemically racist or sexist.
  • That an individual, solely because of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
  • That an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race or sex.
  • That members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex. 
  • That an individual's moral character is necessarily determined by the individual's race or sex. 
  • That an individual, by virtue of the individual's race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
  • That any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of that individual's race or sex. 
  • That meritocracy or traits such as hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.
  • Any other form of race or sex scapegoating or any other form of race or sex stereotyping.

Budget bills signed into law

Reynolds signed seven budget-related bills on Tuesday as well. A press release from her office says the appropriations will help Iowans by "increasing funding and support for education, workforce, law enforcement, corrections, and quality of life."

  • House File 861 provides $21 million for Iowa's correctional system budget and salary adjustments, including $3 million to the Anamosa State Penitentiary for full-time staffing positions. 
  • House File 868 allocates an additional $10 million to the Future Ready Iowa "Last Dollar Scholarship" program and includes $1 million for Iowa Jobs for America's Graduates. 
  • House File 871 provides $3 million more for the Future Ready Iowa Employer Innovation fund and $750,000 to the Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Program. That $750,000 will help fund financial assistance to meat processing businesses, licensed custom lockers and mobile slaughter units. 
  • House File 864 provides appropriations to Iowa's judicial branch. 
  • House File 862 makes appropriations to state departments and agencies from the rebuild Iowa infrastructure fund, the technology reinvestment fund, the sports wagering receipts fund, and the autism support fund, providing for related matters.
  • House File 895 deals with federal funds being allocated to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
  • Senate File 692, which is not listed on the legislature website, relates to appropriations to the Iowa Department of Transportation. It includes the use of money from the road use tax fund and the primary road fund. 

“Our fiscally responsible budget practices and our balanced approach to managing the pandemic has allowed us to invest in critical priorities that ensure Iowa remains competitive in the 21st century,” Reynolds said. By making real investments in education, workforce, law enforcement, and quality of life, we can strengthen our economic recovery while promoting strong families, safe communities, and even better schools.”  

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