By: Taifha Natalee Alexander
Newly released CRT Forward Tracking Project data has revealed new anti-CRT national, state, local, and content-specific trends. These trends have revealed: (1) nearly half of all introduced anti-CRT measures in the country have been enacted; (2) much of the recent growth in anti-CRT measures is a result of local school districts attempting to implement anti-CRT policies in compliance with newly effective state-level anti-CRT legislation; (3) school districts in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, California, and North Carolina have enacted the most anti-CRT measures at the local school board level impacting more than 700,000 students; and (4) CRT Forward researchers project that anti-CRT measures focused on tenure revocation and denial, voucher programs, and resolution directives will be the focus of future anti-CRT measures.
(1) At least 205 anti-CRT measures have been enacted across the United States with the most enacted anti-CRT measures taking place in Georgia, Florida, and Virginia.
While there was an expected lull in introduced anti-CRT measures at the state level, due to summer recess in most legislatures, introduced anti-CRT measures in the CRT Forward Tracking Project database continued to grow from 480 in June 2022 to 508 anti-CRT measures in August 2022.
Of the 508 introduced anti-CRT measures, 47 have been rejected, 69 are pending, 187 have either expired or been withdrawn, and 205 have been enacted. A comparison of the largest and smallest percentages of anti-CRT measures, by progress status, allows one to better comprehend the magnitude and scope of the assault on CRT, as well as antiracist teaching, training, and research. Enacted anti-CRT measures, at approximately 40%, make up the largest percentage of progress status in the CRT Forward database while rejected anti-CRT measures make up only 9%. Essentially, as of August 22, 2022, for every 1 anti-CRT measure that has been rejected, there have been between 4 and 5 anti-CRT measures that have been enacted. However, the percentage of either expired or withdrawn anti-CRT measures, at 36%, suggests that government actors have allowed anti-CRT measures to expire or decided not to advance the anti-CRT measure. It is important to note that these expired or withdrawn anti-CRT measures do not contribute to enacted anti-CRT measures, however, the mere introduction of these anti-CRT measures contributes to chilling the opportunity for students to learn about and identify solutions for our society’s most pressing issues impacting race, racism, and systemic racism.
Further, government officials in Georgia, Florida, and Virginia, have enacted at least 15 anti-CRT measures in each state. As a result, the combined enacted anti-CRT measures in Georgia, Florida, and Virginia make up more than 20% or 1/5 of all enacted measures in the CRT Forward database.
(2) Local school districts in Georgia implemented anti-CRT complaint processes to comply with Georgia House Bill 1084, which recently went into effect.
On Friday, July 1, 2022, Georgia House Bill 1084 (“GA HB 1084”) went into effect. The legislation specifically targets K-12 education and expressly prohibits classroom teaching, curricular content, and trainings across concepts that distort descriptions of systemic racism and efforts to dismantle it. To establish compliance with GA HB 1084, Cobb County School District, Forsyth County Schools, Fulton County Schools, and the Glynn County Board of Education implemented GA HB 1084-specific anti-CRT policies or resolutions.
(3) School districts in Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, California, and North Carolina have enacted the most anti-CRT measures limiting approximately 730,464 students’ ability to access truthful information about race, racism, and systemic racism.
In Virginia, 14 anti-CRT measures at the local school board level have been introduced and 11 were enacted across 9 school boards impacting approximately 168,538 students. In Georgia, 10 anti-CRT measures at the local school board level have been introduced at the local school board level and 9 were enacted across 7 school boards impacting approximately 321,737 students. Cobb County School District, the largest school district with anti-CRT activity in the state, has enacted the most anti-CRT measures. In Pennsylvania, 10 anti-CRT measures at the local school board level and 1 from Grove City College have been introduced and 8 were enacted across 5 school boards and 1 college campus impacting approximately 21,252 students, with the Penncrest School Board enacting the most anti-CRT measures. In California, 9 anti-CRT measures have been introduced at the local school board level and 6 were enacted across 5 school boards impacting approximately 83,470 students, with the Placenita-Yorba Linda Unified School District enacting the most measures.
(4) CRT Forward researchers identify more extreme anti-CRT measures include voucher programs, resolution directives, and tenure revocation and denial
New data filtering options have been added to the CRT Forward Tracking Project to reflect changes in anti-CRT measures – (a) voucher programs, (b) resolution directives, and (c) tenure revocation and denial.
(a) Voucher programs
In February 2022, members of the Oklahoma Legislature introduced Oklahoma Senate Bill 1647. The Bill outlined a process for those with legal authority over children in K-12 schools to receive state funding to ensure their children are restricted from access to truthful information. While the Bill is silent on race, racism, systemic racism, antiracist interventions, and CRT, the congressional members who introduced this Bill were capitalizing on the assault on CRT to advance a larger project to undermine confidence in public education and advocate for the privatization of education. While the Bill, narrowly, failed by 2 votes, the mere introduction of Bills like Oklahoma Senate Bill 1647 are examples of how ideas that are directly opposed to ensuring and protecting a truly multiracial democracy are taking hold. Additionally, it is important to note that, as of August 22, 2022, Oklahoma Senate Bill 1647 is the only voucher bill in the CRT Forward Tracking Project Database. However, CRT Forward researchers believe that additional bills will be introduced in the near future.
(b) Resolution Directives
CRT Forward researchers have found that some state legislatures, and local school boards, have issued resolutions that strongly encourage other government entities to enact regulations or laws in an effort to further the CRT disinformation campaign. Specifically, these directive resolutions are more akin to an official authoritative action and operates to enact a law.
One example of a directive resolution can be found in Utah. On May 18, 2021, representatives from the Utah Legislature issued a resolution that inaccurately attributed distorted descriptions of systemic racism to CRT and expressly directed the Utah State Board of Education to review standards for curriculum. Exactly two short weeks later, the Utah State Board of Education enacted Regulation 277-328, which prohibits students in K-12 institutions from access to truthful information to race, racism, and systemic racism. The Utah Legislature, through their directive resolution, encouraged the Utah State Board of Education to enact an anti-CRT regulation.
(c) Tenure Revocation and Denial
In February 2022, the Texas Lieutenant Governor issued a statement proposing ending tenure for pro-CRT faculty at state colleges and universities. This declaration was in direct response to University of Texas-Austin Faculty Council’s approved pro-CRT measure reaffirming instructors’ right to teach and use curriculum that advance racial justice and CRT. While representatives in the Texas Legislature have not introduced a Bill to end tenure for pro-CRT faculty at state colleges and universities, representatives in the South Carolina Legislature introduced Bill 4522: Cancelling Professor Tenure Act. The South Carolina Bill aimed to end faculty tenure at state public colleges for all faculty. Even though South Carolina Bill 4522 has expired, the Bill’s sponsor plans to refile some form of the legislation next session in 2023. CRT Forward researchers anticipate additional tenure revocation and denial bills to be introduced in states like Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee in the near future.
 Data from the National Center for Education Statistics was used to identify the number of students in each school district with enacted activity.