State Board Of Education’s Meeting Includes Discussion On State House Bill 1775

Thursday, January 27th 2022, 6:22 pm


State counsel presented a report on House Bill 1775-related complaints and updates on a metro school district we have followed closely during Thursday’s State Board of Education meeting.

State House Bill 1775, signed into law last year by Governor Kevin Stitt, prohibits teachers from teaching certain concepts on race and gender in the state’s public schools. It went into effect Sept. 2021. 

There was a lot of conversation about the bill at the time, but actual complaints at this point are minimal.

General counsel presented the first quarterly report Thursday, which is required in the rules of the bill. 

“We’ve had two complaints that have been filed,” State Department of Education general counsel Brad Clark said. 

The department dismissed both complaints after not finding a violation. One complaint had to do with board level complaints while another was a quiz that was given in a geography class. 

“We didn’t see a violation of (House Bill)1775 but did question why that subject was being brought up in a geography class,” Clark said. 

Clark said the district resolved the issue by getting rid of the quiz before the state got involved. 

Final rules for House Bill 1775 are currently in public comment process. 

Another big topic was the board’s approved emergency rules for SB 783, which is also known as the Education Open Transfer Act. The rules went into effect Jan. 1.

The law, passed in 2021, requires all school districts to accept transfer students if they have any opening. 

The board also heard updates on the Western Heights school district, which is currently under probation for a list of complaints against the district. The district’s newly-appointed interim superintendent Brayden Savage was introduced to the board for the first time. 

“It’s just heart-breaking, all the things that have happened,” Savage said. 

Attorneys gave recommendations to improve conditions at the district, including adding supports to address lagging academic performance and rebuilding the alternative education program. 

“I know I can’t fix everything all at once. I can’t fix it by myself. I need a team of good people, in order for us to work all together. But my strength is building relationships and bringing people together, and I think that community really needs that,” she said.