With a public school enrollment of more than 5 million, Texas has an increasingly diverse public education system. Unfortunately, that public education system is also the target of politicians seeking to privatize our neighborhood public schools and push a culture-war agenda in the classroom.

To that end, the Texas Freedom Network – while continuing to fight private school voucher legislation at the Capitol – has conducted groundbreaking research into what is being taught in classrooms on subjects like sex education and religion.


Broken Promises: Charter Schools in Texas (2000 report)

Broken Promises II (2001 report)


The State Board of Education: Dragging Texas Schools into the Culture Wars (2008 report)


Just Say Don’t Know: Sex Education in Texas Public Schools (2009 report)

Sex Education in Public Schools: Progress in the Lone Star State (2011 report)

Reading Writing & Religion: Teaching the Bible in Texas Public Schools (2006 report)

Reading, Writing & Religion II (2013 report)

Can This Class Be Saved? The ‘Hobby Lobby’ Public School Bible Curriculum (2014 report)


Odessa Bible Class Lawsuit a Result of Reckless Decisions by Local Officials

School Trustees Put Their Religious and Political Agendas above the Interests of Students and Taxpayers


A lawsuit filed today over Bible courses in Odessa public high schools is the direct result of reckless decisions made by local officials over the past two years, the president of the Texas Freedom Network said today.

“This is a case study in what happens when public officials put their own religious and political agendas ahead of the interests of students and taxpayers,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “Instead of model courses that respect both the Bible and religious freedom, school board members created a model for promoting their own religious views over everybody else’s.”

The Texas Freedom Network is a religious liberties watchdog group based in Austin and has conducted in-depth research into public school Bible courses. TFN is not a party to the lawsuit in Odessa.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit two years after the Ector County Independent School District voted to offer elective Bible courses in Odessa public high schools. In December 2005, the school board adopted a deeply flawed… Read More

House Passage of Committee’s Bible Class Bill Is a Victory for Religious Freedom in Texas

House Wisely Rejects Efforts to Strip Safeguards from Bill


The Texas House today rejected irresponsible efforts to strip critical safeguards for religious freedom from a bill on public school classes about the Bible. The House voted overwhelmingly to give the bill preliminary approval and send it to Third Reading.

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said the House’s action on House Bill 1287 gives the Bible and religious freedom the respect they deserve.

“Public schools are not Sunday schools, and most people get nervous when government gets too involved in religion,” Miller said. “The safeguards in this bill protect the right of families and clergy, not the government, to tell our schoolchildren what to believe about the Bible. We hope the Senate now shows the same respect for religious freedom that House members showed today.”

State Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, authored H.B. 1287, which would have required every public high school to offer classes about the Bible beginning in September of this year. The Texas Freedom Network joined with organizations like the Christian Life Commission, the… Read More

Texas Freedom Network Applauds House Committee Action on Bible Class Bill

Public Education Committee Adds Responsible Safeguards to H.B. 1287 to Protect Religious Freedom and School Districts from Legal Jeopardy


The Texas Freedom Network today applauded the work of the House Public Education Committee, which added key safeguards to a bill calling for Bible classes in Texas public high schools.

“These committee members clearly understood that families and churches, not the government, should teach our children what to believe about the Bible,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “They voted to give the Bible the respect it deserves and we trust that the full House will show the same care and diligence when it takes up the bill.”

Through a series of amendments, the committee added the following safeguards to the bill: – measures on teacher training and qualifications, – requirements for curriculum standards and an actual textbook (rather than using the Bible as a textbook), – stronger protections for the religious freedom of students and their families, and – allowing local school officials to decide whether their districts will offer courses about the Bible.

A 2006 study… Read More

Proposed Bill on Bible Classes Could Endanger Religious Freedom

Public Schools also Face Legal Jeopardy if Legislation Passes with No Amendments


Proposed legislation mandating that every Texas public high school offer courses on the Bible could threaten the religious freedom of students and put school districts in legal jeopardy, academics and advocates of religious liberty said today.

Legislators should make sure teachers and school administrators have the guidance and resources to teach classes on the Bible in a way that respects the faiths of all families in the district, said Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network.

“What schools need is help, not another mandate,” Miller said. “But this bill just lets politicians grandstand with the Bible while school administrators are left trying to maneuver through the minefields of the culture wars. You can almost see the lawyers lining up.”

The House Public Education Committee is scheduled to hear testimony today on House Bill 1287 by state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa. The bill would require the state’s nearly 1,700 public high schools to offer courses on the Bible. A 2006 study for the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund… Read More

Chisum Launches Attack On Evolution

Appropriations Chairman Should Focus on Budget, Not Culture Wars


The second most powerful member of the Texas House should refocus his efforts on passing a good state budget, not promoting fringe ideas that would embarrass the state and threaten the education of our schoolchildren, the president of the Texas Freedom Network said today.

“The House is in danger of becoming a breeding ground for fringe ideas instead of a body for serious lawmaking,” TFN President Kathy Miller said. “Does Rep. Chisum really believe that our children should learn that the earth stands still while the rest of the universe revolves around it? The fact that we are even discussing this should be alarming to all Texans.”

Extremists have targeted the theory of evolution in a number of states. Just yesterday, the Kansas Board of Education repealed curriculum guidelines that attacked the theory of evolution and promoted creationism in science classes. That action was in direct response to the rout anti-evolution extremists suffered at the polls last November. Ironically, we learned today that state Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, circulated a memo that would take Texas in… Read More