The Texas State Board of Education decides what every student in Texas public schools will learn from kindergarten through high school. The board does so by adopting curriculum standards and textbooks for public schools in the state.

For decades, politicians on the State Board of Education and their activist allies have taken advantage of this flawed system to dismiss the advice of experts and scholars. They have instead worked to inject their personal views into textbooks on everything from evolution and climate change to the history of slavery, civil rights and separation of church and state.

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The Latest on Textbook Censorship

There is, sadly, a considerable list of divisive figures who have served on the State Board of Education. But even within that context, it's hard to name one who has been more divisive than David Bradley, R-BeaumontBuna. On Monday Bradley announced he would not seek re-election next year and will retire from the SBOE District 7 seat he's held since he was first elected in 1996. Read More

TFN PRESIDENT: STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS WILL USE THIS BILL TO RETURN TEXAS TO THE WORST YEARS OF THE TEXTBOOK WARS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 28, 2017

AUSTIN – Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller is warning that today’s passage of SB801 by the House and Senate threatens to return Texas to the worst years of textbook censorship by the State Board of Education.

SB801 allows the state board to determine whether content in textbooks under consideration for use in Texas public schools is “suitable for the subject and grade level.” Current state board member and former chair Barbara Cargill, R–The Woodlands, has already made clear she and her colleagues will use that provision to reject textbook content they don’t like.

Prior to 1995, state board members sometimes demanded hundreds of changes to textbook content they didn’t like, often for personal or political reasons rather than factual accuracy. If publishers didn’t make the changes, the state board could reject their textbooks for use in Texas public schools. But in 1995 the Legislature finally reined in this authority, requiring that the board approve any textbook that conforms to the state’s curriculum standards and is free… Read More

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 19, 2017

The Texas Senate voted today to approve HB1291, which the Senate Education Committee revised to allow the State Board of Education by bypass legislative safeguards against textbook censorship. The House must now either approve the revised bill or send it to a conference committee.

The Senate version of HB1291 would allow SBOE members to reject textbook content they deem as not “suitable for the subject and grade level for which the instructional material was submitted.” That highly subjective standard would effectively sweep away strict limits the 1995 Legislature placed on the ability of the SBOE to edit textbook content.

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement:

“One word can change a lot, and indulging the misguided desire of politicians to decide which facts in public school textbooks are ‘suitable’ and which are not would be a disaster. This bill would effectively sweep away key safeguards against textbook censorship that the Legislature wisely put in place more than 20 years ago. So the facts Texas kids learn in their classrooms would be determined by whatever political majority controls the state board, not by teachers and scholars… Read More

Two years ago, at the conclusion of the last legislative session, we looked at each other and said: Wow, did that just happen? Did we really go for an entire session of the Texas Legislature without having to fight an anti-evolution bill? It's true, we didn't have to, because none were filed in 2015. It was the first time since TFN was founded in 1995 that we didn't have to fight an anti-science bill. We could hardly believe it. That was nice while it lasted. The streak has ended at 1. Read More

Evolution Fight Returns to the Texas SBOE

Nearly two decades into the 21st century, the State Board of Education is set this week to fight — yet again – over what Texas public school students should learn about evolution in their science classrooms. Seriously. Read More

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