NC GOP bills would require teaching Koch principles while banning teachers' political views in class
Teacher in a classroom (Shutterstock)

Republican-sponsored bills introduced in the North Carolina state Senate this month would force high schools to teach students about conservative principles before they can graduate while silencing the political opinions of teachers in the classroom.

According to NC Policy Watch, the state Senate Education Committee debated for "less than two minutes" before passing SB 524, which would require all high schools to teach a semester course called "Founding Principles of the United States" as a prerequisite for graduation.

The class, which would replace "American History I," includes lessons on civics that mirror a bill being pushed by the Koch brothers-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Students would be required by law to learn about:

  • Constitutional limitations on government power to tax and spend and prompt payment of public debt.
  • Money with intrinsic value.
  • Strong defense and supremacy of civil authority over military.
  • Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
  • Eternal vigilance by “We the People.”
  • Earlier this month, the same committee passed a bill that would prohibit teachers from campaigning during school hours.

    State Sen. Angela Bryant (D) pointed out during debate that "murky" language in the law failed to place limits on the prohibition, potentially infringing on a teacher's rights. She said that teacher could be barred from appearing in campaign ads, for example.

    And Republican state Sen. Tamara Barringer worried that the bill also would prevent teachers from advocating for causes that benefited their school at PTA meetings.

    The bill passed by a voice vote.

    Watch short debate over the bill below.