State Legislatures

In this Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, file photo, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear addresses the media in Frankfort, Ky. Kentucky's governor said Sunday, Oct. 11, that he will quarantine after a member of his security detail who drove with his family the day before later tested positive for COVID-19. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said he and his family feel fine, show no coronavirus symptoms and have tested negative for the virus.
In this Sept. 23, 2020, file photo, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear addresses the media in Frankfort, Ky.
Timothy D. Easley/AP
States Kentucky Ends All Statewide Mask Mandates After Governor's Vetoes Overridden
The Republican-led legislation strips the Democratic governor's ability to issue statewide mask mandates in schools or anywhere else.
Jack Brammer and Alex Acquisto, Lexington Herald-Leader, September 10, 2021
4 min read
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021.
Eric Gay/AP
States Bill to Restrict How Race and Racism Is Taught in Schools Headed to Texas Governor
If the "critical race theory" bill sounds familiar, that's because lawmakers passed a similar one during the regular legislative session.
Eleanor Dearman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 3, 2021
4 min read
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson takes off his face mask as he arrives for a daily coronavirus briefing at the state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark. on April 27, 2020. Hutchinson signed a bill in April banning statewide and local mask mandates in Arkansas, but he is now considering rolling back that law amid concerns of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson takes off his face mask as he arrives for a daily coronavirus briefing at the state Capitol in Little Rock in April.
Staton Breidenthal/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP
States Arkansas Judge Pauses Ban on School Mask Mandates After Lawmakers Fail to Act
As Arkansas sees soaring rates of COVID-19, school districts will—at least for now—be able to set their own local mask requirements.
Evie Blad, August 6, 2021
3 min read
070921 AAPI Bill Illinois AP BS
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker answers questions during a news conference at the Illinois State Capitol on May 22, 2020, in Springfield, Ill.
Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP
Social Studies Illinois Becomes First State to Require Teaching Asian American History in Public Schools
The law is the latest in a series of new requirements the governor has signed that aim to make the teaching of history more inclusive.
Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune, July 9, 2021
3 min read
Illustration.
Kubkoo/iStock/Getty
Standards Social Studies Standards Spark Fierce Debate in N.C.
Advocates say the new standards are more inclusive because they give more attention to the perspectives of historically marginalized groups.
T. Keung Hui, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), July 8, 2021
6 min read
Monica Wilbur expresses her opposition to critical race theory at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Standing behind her is Betty Sawyer, who holds an opposing point of view.
Monica Wilbur, center, expresses her opposition to critical race theory at the statehouse in Salt Lake City earlier this year, while Betty Sawyer, standing behind her, supports it.
Trent Nelson/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP
States Four Things Schools Won't Be Able to Do Under 'Critical Race Theory' Laws
Anti-racism training, discussions about sex, misogyny and LGBTQ issues, and consulting with outside advocacy organizations are all at risk.
Eesha Pendharkar, June 30, 2021
5 min read
A person slumped over on their bed.
yokunen/iStock/Getty<br/>
Student Well-Being Why More Schools Are Excusing Student Absences for Mental Health
A growing number of states and school districts are responding to a tidal wave of stress, anxiety, and trauma.
Catherine Gewertz, June 24, 2021
7 min read
Maddy Niebauer and her 10-year-old transgender son, Julian, from Middleton, Wis., take part in a rally for transgender rights at the Capitol in Madison, Wis. on May 26, 2021.
Maddy Niebauer and her 10-year-old transgender son, Julian, from Middleton, Wis., take part in a rally for transgender rights at the Capitol in Madison, Wis. on May 26, 2021.
Mark Hoffman/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP
Equity & Diversity Video Transgender Students: 'People Suffer When They Can’t Do What Makes Them Happiest'
Transgender students in nine states are required to play only on sports teams that match their gender assigned at birth. A look at the impact of that requirement.
Eric Harkleroad, June 16, 2021
3:48
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
States Opinion The Right and Wrong Way to Address Concerns About Critical Race Theory
Legislators should consciously echo provisions of the Civil Rights Act brushed aside in the excesses of anti-racist education—not ban ideas.
Rick Hess, June 16, 2021
5 min read
Image shows an illustration of money providing relief against coronavirus.
DigitalVision Vectors/iStock/Getty
Education Funding Some in Congress Fear State Budget Decisions May Undercut COVID-19 Education Relief
A dispute in Wisconsin over coronavirus relief underscores how technical issues and politics are affecting education spending decisions.
Andrew Ujifusa, June 11, 2021
4 min read
States Interactive Map: Where Critical Race Theory Is Under Attack
This national map tracks where state policymakers are attempting to limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism in the classroom.
June 11, 2021
2 min read
Students walk into Loveland High School, past a sign at the entrance bearing the image of the school mascot, a Native American, in Loveland, Colo. on Sept. 11, 2014.
Students walk into Loveland High School, past a sign at the entrance bearing the image of the school mascot, a Native American, in Loveland, Colo.
Brennan Linsley/AP
Equity & Diversity American Indian Mascots Will Soon Be Banned in Colorado Public Schools
Colorado would become the fifth state to get rid of derogatory mascots.
Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, June 4, 2021
2 min read
Students in fifth grade wear masks in their classroom as they wait for their teacher at Oak Terrace Elementary School in Highwood, Ill. on Sept. 3, 2020.
Fifth graders wait in their classroom at Oak Terrace Elementary School in Highwood, Ill., last September.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
School Climate & Safety Seclusion and Restraint in Schools to Be Dramatically Limited in Illinois
Lawmakers voted to limit the use of seclusion and restraint in schools, following through on promises made after a 2019 investigation.
Jodi S. Cohen & Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, June 1, 2021
6 min read
Students in fifth grade wear masks in their classroom as they wait for their teacher at Oak Terrace Elementary School in Highwood, Ill. on Sept. 3, 2020.
Fifth graders wait in their classroom at Oak Terrace Elementary School in Highwood, Ill., last September.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
School Climate & Safety Illinois Schools Secluded and Restrained Children Thousands of Times This Year
Illinois school workers physically restrained or secluded nearly 2,400 students more than 15,000 times this school year despite closures.
Jodi S. Cohen & Jennifer Smith Richards, Chicago Tribune, May 28, 2021
5 min read