Model Legislation: End Political Litmus Tests in Education Act

The “End Political Litmus Tests in Education Act” can help preserve academic freedom and freedom of speech and conscience at public schools, colleges, and universities.

Traditionally, faculty candidates at public universities have been evaluated based on four documents: a cover letter, their curriculum vitae, research statement, and teaching statement. Now, a fifth document is being added—a statement in which the individual expresses his or her commitment to “diversity.” That is, how important it is to the individual, how he or she acts to further diversity, equity, and inclusion.

These statements are de facto political litmus tests and an effective tool for colleges, universities, and even some K-12 schools to screen out viewpoint diversity.

In conjunction with the Goldwater Institute and Stanley Kurtz of the Ethics in Public Policy Center, the Martin Center has developed model legislation to prohibit public schools and universities from requiring candidates to submit diversity statements or any other statements that “promotes a specific partisan, political, or ideological set of beliefs.”