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Louisiana's top school board voted Wednesday to push back action on proposed social studies standards from December to January. (Photo by Bill Feig, The Advocate)

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BATON ROUGE, La. - State education leaders have delayed action on new social studies standards a second time to give taxpayers an extra month to offer their opinions on the changes.

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted Wednesday to extend the public comment through Nov. 30.

The portal at the state Department of Education -- www.louisianabelieves.com -- was supposed to be open for comments through Oct. 31, with a possible vote by BESE at its December meeting.

The issue is now set for board review in January and may be delayed again.

A steering committee endorsed the changes 19-1 on Sept. 28.

However, complaints about the changes continue to circulate, including whether citizens have had enough time to make their views known.

State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley in July delayed hearings on the overhaul for two months amid criticism on how the nation's racial history would be taught.

The September gathering when the benchmarks won approval was less contentious than the July meeting that lasted five hours.

But new criticism surfaced Monday when the House Education Committee got an update on how the proposed revisions unfolded.

Diane Moore, who lives in Slidell and has taught history in both public and private schools, said the new standards "will make students ashamed of their country."

Moore said it would be a mistake to begin a high school U. S. history course in 1898, omitting how American ideals unfolded.

Laura Huber, director of the state branch of Concerned Women of America, said the standards should include a focus on the U. S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and differences between a republic and a democracy.

Huber, of Abita Springs, said "progressive education elites" are pushing for more citizen activism over content knowledge.

Christy Haik, of Baton Rouge, told the committee students cannot be taught racial harmony by teachers suggesting "that one race is superior to another or by suggesting that our country is fundamentally racist."

The steering committee included teachers, higher education officials, school district leaders and parents.

Two group -- one for K-5 and one for 6-12 -- worked since March to come up with the revisions.

Brumley, a former social studies teacher, has said the benchmarks need more rigor and that history should be taught in a more orderly fashion.

Earlier there was criticism that critical race theory -- the view that racism has played an outsized role in U. S. history and that it remains pervasive today -- was being injected into public schools.

Brumley said he would oppose any such move.

"I don't believe critical race theory should be taught in K-12 education," he said in August. "We have to teach the truth about our history, but we also live in the greatest country on the planet."

The superintendent has not taken a stance on the proposed new standards but is expected to do so before BESE votes.

State education officials are supposed to collect the public comments and will likely recommend changes in the new standards.

The current benchmarks took effect in 2011 and are supposed to be updated every seven years.

The new ones are scheduled to be in place for the 2023-24 school year.

This article originally ran on ktbs.com.

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