In the process of approving a bill requiring a special K-12 curriculum on organized labor and capitalism, lawmakers in Connecticut shot down a GOP proposal to teach the U.S. Constitution, EAG News reported Thursday. The measure failed with a 26-9 vote in the Democrat-controlled state Senate.
The proposed amendment was one of two put forward by minority Republicans, CTPost said. The other amendment required the teaching of personal finance and would have taught students how to balance a checkbook. That amendment failed with a 26-10 vote.
Nevertheless, majority Democrats, with the help of some Republicans, managed to approve the pro-union measure in a 25-10 vote. If the bill passes and is signed into law, education officials will be required to create a pro-union curriculum, but local schools will not be required to adopt it.
"I think this is a very good idea," Sen. Michael A. McLachlan, R-Danbury, said of the pro-Constitution amendment. "Without question there is not enough discussion about that in schools today."
"Increasingly we seem to be adding all kinds of curriculum guidelines for the state Department of Education and unfortunately it often sits on the shelf," said Sen. Antonietta Boucher, R-Wilton, the state Senator who introduced both amendments.
"I often get complaints by both students and teachers that talk about the difficult and often pressure-filled environments that they go to school in, where their points of view are not acceptable; that they feel pressure not to discuss any opinion that they might differ with the presiding opinion that may be less conservative; that a conservative point of view is somehow seen as so negative that they're not allowed to function in an academic setting," Boucher added.
Democrats, however, claimed the Constitution is already taught in history and civic lessons. But EAG News' Ben Velderman argued that the pro-union lessons Democrats want is also taught in classes covering the Industrial Revolution.
"That’s assuming, however, that schools still teach history as part of their gooey, activism-laced 'social studies' classes," Velderman added. He also argued that instead of special lessons, the students could simply "look around their school campus to see how their teachers’ union is shortchanging them on their education by protecting the jobs of subpar educators."
Senators also debated adding a lesson on the April 23, 1987 collapse of L'Ambiance Plaza, a 16-story apartment building under construction in Bridgeport. Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, said that while the collapse is remembered every year, it would probably never become part of the curriculum in schools.