“What this letter is saying is, before you venture down the road of Critical Race Theory crap, let the Legislature figure out what they want to do first,” Maher told the Journal.
Applications for the National Activities Grants in American History and Civics were due August 18, but the committee still decided to send the letter anyway.
“We discussed do we even need this letter, but the consensus was we should put something into place and mesh it all together in January” when the 2022 legislative session starts, Maher said.
Appropriations is not a policy-making committee; it merely holds the purse strings, but Maher said the letter addresses the need for the Legislature to get together and have a conversation as a whole about the direction they want to take social studies education in the state.
“This is more about politics than policy,” he told the Journal on Thursday. “We’re overstepping our bounds — we’re supposed to set the budget, not make policy.”
He had asked Legislative Research Council staff to look through data from the last five years to see if any school had applied for such a federal grant and found no applications.
“There’s no evidence over the last five years of anyone in this state applying for it, so we’re banning something nobody was going to do anyway. It’s purely about politics and sending a message,” he said.