In addition to a years-long fight for fair funding for schools in New Jersey another academic topic came to light in 2021 and that's what children are being taught in schools and how much of a say parents have or should have in that learning process.

As Critical Race Theory became one of the focal points in the race for New Jersey Governor last year between Phil Murphy and Jack Ciattarelli, two New Jersey State Senators teamed up to introduce legislation in November that would prevent CRT from being taught in schools.

The legislation from Senators Michael Testa (R-1) and Joe Pennacchio (R-26) dove into several specifics of what would not be allowed to be taught in schools under the CRT umbrella and they gave detailed reasons why they felt this legislation was urgently needed while also expressing concern that CRT being brought into schools was part of a Democratic/Liberal driven agenda.

Senator Pennacchio has picked up where he left off in the fall with regard to the CRT-related legislation as well as three other bills that seek to provide transparency and rights to parents with what their children are being taught in schools.

“The woke agenda wielded by Murphy Democrats is a full-scale attack on families,” Pennacchio said in a written statement on Wednesday. “State government has a role in all of our lives, but it should be to support our security and freedoms, not to dictate how mothers and fathers raise their children or reprogram the way kids think.”

It is a full-scale change that Senator Pennacchio is worried about certain political agendas being forced onto children in schools and for teachers to provide that instruction with curriculum changes en route.

“Recent legislation specifically targets 4- and 5-year-old children who still believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy to remove what the state perceives as their ‘unconscious bias’ so they accept the Administration’s misguided woke policies,” Pennacchio said.

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Senator Pennacchio points out some of the changes that would be under a new curriculum including how grade school students will be taught about gender confusion, gender identity, cisgender, transgender, and gender nonbinary.

“To satisfy the Administration’s thirst for social engineering, they are committed to stripping little kids of their childhoods,” Pennacchio said. “Schools have enough trouble teaching students about reading, writing, and arithmetic. These are age-inappropriate issues that have no place in elementary classrooms and certainly should have parental consent when being addressed.”

As a result of new curriculum changes being discussed, Senator Pennacchio has introduced four bills to make what he hopes are instant changes.

  • S-1571 – "requires public schools to make curriculum plans available to the public and allow the plans, textbooks, and learning material to be inspected and reviewed by the parents and legal guardians of students. [First introduced during the previous legislative session in June 2021 as S-3875]."
  • S-1570 – "requires boards of education to be more open about their meeting schedules and agendas, mandating them to publicly post the full meeting agenda 48 hours prior to the meeting."
  • S-2385 – "Reaffirms parental rights and amends current law to prevent schools from teaching some concepts related to critical race theory (CRT) and various controversial topics to students younger than high school age."
  • S-224 – "Creates the “Transparency in Government Act. The intent of the bill is to create another layer of transparency, letting parents know exactly how their dollars are spent and where the money is going. It was first introduced by Pennacchio in January 2012."

“Residents will not quietly tolerate government attempts to hijack the minds of their children,” Pennacchio said. “These bills will give some of the power back to the parents, and I encourage my Democrat colleagues to uphold the next generation of New Jerseyans and vote for these pragmatic measures.”

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