Florida officials continued their war on education this week after rejecting more than 50 proposed math textbooks that allegedly “included references to Critical Race Theory.”
The Florida Department of Education announced Friday it would not include 54 of the 132 ― or 41% ― of math textbooks on the state’s adopted list, citing “CRT” as one of the main reasons.
“Reasons for rejecting textbooks included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics,” the statement said. “The highest number of books rejected were for grade levels K-5, where an alarming 71 percent were not appropriately aligned with Florida standards or included prohibited topics and unsolicited strategies.”
The state’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said without evidence that the math textbooks “included indoctrinating concepts like race essentialism, especially, bizarrely, for elementary school students.”
DeSantis has been an outspoken critic of CRT, which has become a catchall term ― stripped of its original academic meaning ― for having discussions about racism in the classroom. Since last July, there have been more than 200 instances of public school districts in Florida banning books, the third highest number of incidents of any state in the U.S.
Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith said in a tweet that the governor “has turned our classrooms into political battlefields and this is just the beginning.”
Public school textbooks in Florida are reviewed by subject every five years. The next subject up for review will be social studies textbooks next month.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.