FILE - Chip Roy, State Rep

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, talks to reporters as he walks to the speaker's office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. 

(The Center Square) – A Texas congressman has introduced legislation to ban federal funding for public schools that promote theories that discriminate on the basis of race, color or national origin.

"The Combatting Racist Teaching Act will prohibit federal funding from going to schools that seek to indoctrinate children with critical race theory," U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said in a statement. "... Parents should be in charge of their kids' education – not bureaucrats, politicians, or union bosses."

Colleen Hroncich, policy analyst at the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, said the measure was unlikely to advance.

"For starters, the federal government has no constitutional role in education," she said. "Regardless, I doubt this bill has any chance of passing both chambers much less being signed by the president."

She said parents care about a wide range of issues.

"Beyond those issues, parents have a very diverse range of opinions about how all sorts of issues are addressed in schools," she said. "The solution is for states to adopt universal school choice programs that allow parents to choose the educational environment they want for their children. The conflicts we see in public schools are part and parcel of a government-run monopoly school system – parents are forced to engage in political battles for their preferences to prevail. School choice alleviates those fights by letting parents make choices for their individual children."

Roy's bill prohibits federal funds from going to any school that promotes race-based ideologies. It would bar funding to institutions that promote theories describing:

  • Any race is inherently superior or inferior to any other race, color, or national origin.
  • The United States is a fundamentally racist country.
  • The Declaration of Independence or Constitution of the United States are fundamentally racist documents.
  • An individual's moral character or worth is determined by the individual's race, color, or national origin.
  • An individual, by virtue of the individual's race, is inherently racist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
  • An individual, because of the individual's race, bears responsibility for the actions committed by other members of the individual's race, color, or national origin.

The bill had 32 Republican cosponsors in the 117th Congress, but did not advance. 

"The federal government has no place making decisions for students' education to begin with," said Adam Brandon, the president of FreedomWorks, a grassroots organization that supports smaller government and personal liberty.

Lawmakers in other states, such as Michigan, have proposed legislation that mirrors the Texas bill.

Senate Bill 460 was introduced in Michigan in May 2021 that would prohibit a curriculum that includes “coverage of the critical race theory, the 1619 project, or any of the following anti-American and racist theories:

  • (a) That any race is inherently superior or inferior to any other race.
  • (b) That the United States is a fundamentally racist country.
  • (c) That the Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution are fundamentally racist documents.
  • (d) That an individual's moral character or worth is determined by his or her race.
  • (e) That an individual, by virtue of his or her race, is inherently racist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Investigative Reporter

Brett Rowland is an award-winning journalist who has worked as an editor and reporter in newsrooms in Illinois and Wisconsin. He is an investigative reporter for The Center Square.