SB 83 is another educational gag order attacking honest, inclusive education and worker rights in Ohio higher education
The “Higher Education Destruction Bill“ is bad for students, bad for higher ed, and bad for Ohio
March 22, 2023 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
COLUMBUS — Today, State Senator Jerry Cirino presented sponsor testimony for Senate Bill 83, a sweeping higher education bill that mandates “intellectual diversity” by censoring academic freedoms, restricting diversity, equity and inclusion training, banning academic programs in racial or gender studies, prohibiting academic relationships with China, restricting worker rights, and withholding state funding and tenure for violations.
In response to the bill, Cynthia Peeples, founding director of Honesty for Ohio Education, a nonpartisan, statewide education coalition representing more than 50 organizational partners, issued the following statement:
Senate Bill 83 is another sweeping attempt to censor honest, inclusive education by attacking academic freedoms and worker rights in higher education. Modeled after similar measures in Florida, this bill uses “intellectual diversity” as a cover to censor courses and programs about history, culture, and systems of power, restrict needed diversity and inclusion programs and training, ban academic partnerships with China, ban affinity spaces and employee resource groups, prohibit affirmative action policies, and restrict worker rights.
It is clear that this radical government overreach is doubling down on previous failed attempts to whitewash our history, sanitize hard truths, and erase the cultures and lived experiences of marginalized communities. Rather than cultivating safe, inclusive learning environments where students can sharpen their critical thinking and gain a comprehensive understanding of the world, Ohio legislators want to micromanage higher education and legislate censorship.
In restricting worker rights, SB 83 weakens the power of campus workers to advocate for fair working conditions. Those working conditions are also students' learning conditions, with grave impacts for the academic experiences and development of students.
We call on the Ohio Senate to reject SB 83 and end continued attacks on students’ freedom to learn. Senate Bill 83 is bad for students, bad for higher education, and bad for Ohio.
Honesty for Ohio Education is a nonpartisan, statewide coalition that champions honest education, affirmation of identities, cultures, and experiences, the well-being of students and educators, and local control in education. The coalition represents more than 50 national, state, and local organizations, and hundreds of students, families, and educators across the state.