CONTACT: For press inquiries, to set up interviews or to sign up for e-mail press releases, please e-mail TFN Communications Director Dan Quinn or call 512-322-0545.
FAITH LEADERS CALL ON GOV. ABBOTT TO STOP INTERFERING WITH WOMEN’S FREEDOM TO CHOOSE THEIR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERSShare
Clergy Sign Open Letter as Federal Judge Prepares to Hear Lawsuit over Medicaid Funding Ban for Health Care Services at Planned Parenthood Clinics
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 10, 2015
Clergy from diverse faith traditions across Texas are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to stop interfering with the freedom of women to see providers of their choice for health screenings, family planning and other reproductive health care services.
“Women have a moral and legal right to decide for themselves which health care providers they will see,” said the Rev. Valda Jean Combs, an associate minister at Brentwood Baptist Church in Houston. “As faith leaders in our communities, we cannot be silent when politicians interfere with that freedom and risk leaving vulnerable women without access to the basic care they need and deserve.”
Combs is one of more than 50 faith leaders who have signed on to an open letter to Gov. Abbott on the issue. Today’s public release of the letter, which is available at justtx.org/medicaid, comes as Gov. Abbott tries to enforce a ban on Medicaid funding for health care services provided at Planned Parenthood clinics. Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit challenging… Read More
Formal AG’S Opinion Rejects Effort to Give the State Board of Education Authority to Set Rules for Local Textbook Adoptions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 4, 2015
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office today released a formal opinion saying that the State Board of Education does not have authority under Texas law to set rules for how local school districts adopt textbooks. The opinion is in response to a request from the SBOE’s then-chairwoman Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, in June. The AG’s opinion is available here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/opinions/opinions/51paxton/op/2015/kp0043.pdf.
The following statement can be attributed to Dan Quinn, communications director at the Texas Freedom Network:
“We’re certainly pleased to see the attorney general agree that this attempted power grab by certain board members wasn’t supported by state law. It’s important to remember that the board just last month stubbornly refused to establish even basic qualifications for the people it asks to review the textbooks that go into our kids’ classrooms. So rather than playing politics and pretending that they know best how local school officials should do their jobs, maybe these board members should spend more time putting their own house in order and earning the… Read More
Two Days after Rejecting Fact-Check Panels for University Academics, Board Votes Down Proposal to Set Standards for Citizen Reviewers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 20, 2015
State Board of Education today rejected a new proposal to set specific criteria for determining whether individuals are qualified to review textbooks submitted for adoption in Texas. Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller criticized the 8-6 vote against the proposal as yet another example of the board’s hostility to expertise and competence.
“This board seems determined that textbook adoptions in Texas remain a three-ring circus,” Miller said. “It’s clear that board members are more interested in protecting their ability to appoint unqualified political activists to these panels than in ensuring that our kids’ textbooks are accurate.”
Just two days ago, the board on an 8-7 vote rejected a proposal to set up special panels made up of college and university academics to review textbooks for factual accuracy. Board members argued that existing panels of citizen reviewers were sufficient.
Today SBOE member Erika Beltran, D-Dallas, proposed that the board require that at least a majority of those citizen reviewers have education certification and teaching experience in three of the… Read More
Texas SBOE Refuses to Tighten Process for Ensuring Accuracy in Textbooks
Board Votes 8-7 to Reject Establishing Scholar Panels for Reviewing Proposed Textbooks for Factual Errors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 18, 2015
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller had the following statement today following a vote by the State Board of Education against a proposal for setting up panels of college and university scholars whose sole responsibility would be to review proposed new textbooks for factual errors.
“With all the controversies that have made textbook adoptions in Texas look like a clown show, it’s mindboggling and downright embarrassing that the board voted this down. Instead of appointing qualified historians, scientists and mathematicians to review proposed textbooks for accuracy, board members are leaving it up to schoolchildren to do the fact checking.”
Miller noted that the SBOE’s current review process is designed to check only whether textbooks conform to state curriculum standards. Review panels report factual errors they might find, but they do not perform a systematic, cover-to-cover review of the textbooks for factual accuracy.
This fall the state was embarrassed when a Houston student found that a geography textbook adopted by the state board in 2014 describes… Read More
DEFEAT OF HOUSTON EQUALITY ORDINANCE DAMAGES TEXAS
Governor, Lt. Governor Shamefully Pandered to Intolerance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 4, 2015
The deceitful, fear-based campaign used to defeat the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance at the polls on Tuesday will seriously damage the reputation of the City of Houston and the State of Texas, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said today.
Miller said that danger is particularly high because of the way Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick waded into the election over the local ordinance.
“It was disturbing to see our state’s two highest elected leaders shamefully peddling lies and scare tactics,” Miller said. “Their political pandering has branded Texas as hostile to basic human rights and inclusiveness. In lending the prestige of their offices to such a shockingly deceitful campaign, Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick aligned themselves with some of this state’s most extreme and intolerant voices. That can only hurt the state’s reputation among anyone or any business that might want to move here.”
The rhetoric used by HERO opponents was nothing short of incendiary. At one campaign event, a major funder of the anti-HERO campaign… Read More