K-12 DIGEST: Petition seeks to dissolve Nebraska Board of Education

Health Standards, 8.6 (copy)

With controversial themes like critical race theory and gender identity as drivers, a petition to abolish the Nebraska Board of Education has surfaced with an eye towards more gubernatorial control of secondary teaching and learning in the state. 

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

The sponsors aim to replace the Nebraska State Board of Education, education commissioner and Nebraska Department of Education with a new Office of Education accountable to the governor. The governor would appoint the director of the office, subject to confirmation by a majority of state senators.

Kelli Brady, a sponsor of the petition, said the intent is to move “major functions” of the department to the new office and return some of the department’s responsibilities to local school boards.

The petition comes just weeks after the formation of a political action committee launched to prohibit gender identity studies in primary and secondary education. From the Associated Press:

The coalition organized around opposition to statewide sex education standards proposed in March by the Nebraska Department of Education. The group grew to more than 20,000 Facebook members.

In September, state education officials halted plans for the new standards, which were initially hailed by advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth.

The petition must collect 125,000 by July 7 of next year to advance to question status during November elections. 

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