LINCOLN–(KFOR/1011Now Aug. 1)–Testimony over the use of Critical Race Theory was one of the items that came up during Monday’s hearing before the Nebraska Legislature’s Education Committee, as they met to sort out controversies over public school curriculum.

The chair of the education committee, Glenvil Senator Dave Murman, introduced a bill that would have created a parental bill of rights and a transparency portal for school districts, even allowing the option for parents to have their kids opt out of some lessons. While it didn’t make it out of the committee last session, it could come up against next session.

Social and Emotional Learning, or SEL, also came up for debate on Monday. The Nebraska Department of Education said it’s about teaching children to understand and manage emotion and make responsible decisions. A state board of education member, speaking in a personal capacity, said it’s a gateway to CRT.

“That is what is happening with Social-Emotional Learning,” Kirk Penner said. “Big education can’t help themselves. it’s like an addiction. they must plug their politics into every aspect of education.”

Meanwhile down the hall, a group of liberal senators invited testimony at a public forum, extolling SEL as humane and empathetic.

Before the Education Committee, Nebraska Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Brian Maher discussed major issues facing public education in the state—far from the confines of the culture war: testing, chronic absenteeism and the teacher shortage.