Senator Albrecht’s Weekly Update

Senator Albrecht’s Weekly Update
July 31st, 2021 | Office of State Senator Joni Albrecht

107TH LEGISLATURE INTERIM

It’s hard to believe that the summer is nearing an end and just around the corner our
schools will be opening their doors. I hope that the children in District 17 have had a
chance to enjoy a summer full of rest and fun.

As we prepare for the 2021-22 school year, I cannot help but think about curriculums and
the situation we have faced this year with the unacceptable Health Education Standards
proposed by the Nebraska Department of Education.

I have been at a National Conference for Legislators this week, where numerous national
education statistics are being reported. It has been a bit sobering to see where Nebraska
stands academically in comparison to other states. We simply need to go back to the
basics, where our focus is doing an excellent job teaching Math, English, Science, Social
Studies and History. Though it is vital for every child to learn the value of taking care of
themselves and other people, those things are and should be taught first by parents and
guardians. If children do not get an excellent education in the core subjects between
K-12, it is probable they never will, and that will greatly affect their ability to thrive
throughout their lifetime.

Currently, 49 School Districts across the state have stood in public opposition to the first
draft of the Nebraska Department of Education Health Standards, they are: Alma,
Arcadia, Amherst, Axtell, Beatrice, Bertrand, Boyd County, Broken Bow, Bruning, Davenport,
Cairo, Chase County, Clarkson, Columbus, Cozad, Eustis-Farnam, Gehring,
Gordon- Rushville, Gothenburg, Harrison/Sioux, Hayes Center, Hitchcock County,
Holdrege, Keya Paha, Lincoln Christian, Logan View- Hooper, Loomis, Loop County,
Madison, Mayfield, Maywood, McCook, Mead, Mullen, Newman Grove, Norfolk, O’Neill,
Potter-Dix, Scottsbluff, Sidney, Thayer Central/ Hebron, Thedford, Yutan, Wakefield,
Wallace, Weeping Water, Wilcox- Hildreth, Winnebago and Wood River.

The second Health Standard draft came out this week. I would implore any local school
boards in District 17 and throughout our state who have not signed the Resolution, to
join the thousands of Nebraskans who are greatly concerned, and reject the proposed
Health Standards all together.

I am in complete agreement with Governor Ricketss when he said, “While this new draft
of the health education standards scraps many of the topics Nebraskans found
objectionable, the standards still need improvement, for example, this draft proposes to
teach the concept of ‘gender identity.’ The continued presence of gender ideology in the
standards leaves the door open for this material to be expanded either before these
draft standards are approved or in future years when these standards are revisited. Sex
education and other controversial topics should be addressed at home.This
responsibility should not be shouldered by teachers in schools.”

I encourage you to take the time to review the second draft for yourself. I know it is not
convenient to sit down and read, but as the gatekeepers for our children’s minds and
hearts, it is VITAL that we proactively engage ourselves in stewarding their education. I
can tell you, there are others who absolutely have an agenda for our children, and if we
do not pay attention, they will win this battle. You can review the new draft at
education.ne.gov.

Next Friday, August 6 at 9:00 am the State Board of Education will hold its next meeting
at the Nebraska Innovation Campus, 2021 Transformation Drive, Lincoln, NE 68508.
Access to the meeting will be made available to members of the public and members of
the media at the meeting site and by live internet broadcast via the Nebraska
Department of Education’s YouTube channel. The meeting will be recorded and available
after the meeting on the NDE YouTube channel. Link to Live Internet Broadcast:
https://www.education.ne.gov/live/

In the meantime, continue to contact your state and local school board members and
representatives and ask them to sign on the Resolution rejecting the draft of the
proposed Health Education Standards. I am so proud of the hundreds and even
thousands of Nebraska’s parents, grandparents, teachers and guardians who have
drawn a line in the sand and made their voices heard, that teaching our children value
systems that we do not align with is not going to be okay here in this great state.

I always appreciate hearing from you, the Constituents of District 17. Your input helps
me know how to effectively serve you in the Legislature. If you have any comments or
concerns, please contact me at 402-471-2716 or jalbrecht@leg.ne.gov.

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