COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio’s social studies K-12 curriculum standards are reviewed every five years – and 2023 is one of those years, and some lawmakers said it is time for a change in the way curriculum is set.

And there are competing approaches to how those standards should be reviewed.

Rep. Don Jones (R-Freeport) is sponsoring House Bill 103, which would establish something called the “Social Studies Standards Task Force,” which would consist of nine members, three each appointed by the governor, speaker of the house, and senate president.

The task force would create standards based on a text called “American Birthright: The Civics Alliance’s Model K-12 Social Studies Standards.”

“Just what does it mean to be an American?” Jones said. “We have people coming to our country legally and illegally for different reasons. We are the greatest country, in my mind, and we need to make sure our young people understand why we are the country we are today.”

Jones is listed under the acknowledgments for the text, under the “American Birthright Coalition: State Policymakers.” The text reads that love, liberty, and the law should be the “touchstones of American social studies instruction,” saying “activists in schools are antagonistic towards our culture.”

It also says, “Too many Americans have emerged from our schools ignorant” of the nation’s culture.

“The attempt is to get back to what we learned in civics class and American history and government classes back several years ago when we didn’t have all the turmoil in our society,” Jones said.

Under HB 103, standards created by the task force would have to be approved by the general assembly but ultimately, the local boards would assign curriculum.

“I don’t happen to believe that the changes that would be required would be appropriate and would provide the kind of support for people who are not white who live in Ohio need,” Rep. Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) said.

On the other side of the aisle, Lightbody has introduced House Bill 171.

“Social studies is a study of the people who are in our communities,” she said. “And learning how to respect and enjoy and appreciate each other is part of what this bill is asking us to do.”

Lightbody’s bill would amend the Ohio Revised Code “to include instruction on the migration, experiences and contributions of a range of communities in the model curriculum.”

“This bill is permissive and only permissive,” Lightbody said. “It just asks them to please consider the needs of the Ohioans who come from that list of diverse communities which includes Native Americans, Black Americans, people from all across the globe who live in Ohio.”

Jones said HB 171 takes it a step too far.

“It tries to go in and say you have to teach a lot of different areas,” he said. “And some aren’t really applicable to different parts of the state.”

Both bills are still in House committee.