From Nov. 14-17, the State Board of Education will vote on science textbook adoption for school districts across Texas, affecting how students will learn about climate change and evolution in the classroom for the next decade.
Tell the SBOE they should NOT politicize the science textbook adoption process. Instead, they should listen to the experts, and teach Texas kids the truth about science by adopting textbooks that cover it accurately, honestly, and thoroughly.
The SBOE will only hear public comments IN PERSON on Nov. 14.
Where: William B. Travis Building
Address: 1701 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas
Room Number: 1-104
How to register to testify
- Registration is OPEN from 8 a.m. CT on Monday, Nov. 6 through Friday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. CT.
- Testimony is taken in the order of registration, so sign up early!
(Scroll to the bottom of the page)
- If you miss the registration deadline, you can register to testify at 8 a.m. outside RM 1-104.
Step by Step: How to Register
- Unless you officially have permission to represent an organization, you are registering as yourself.
- Then select “Committee of the Full Board (Nov 14)”
- Register as “Comment On.”
- Select “Committee of the Full Board (November 14)”
- Select “Item 1 Report from the Commissioner of Education Regarding Instructional Materials Offered for Adoption under Proclamation 2024”
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from the Texas Education Agency.
Recommend Best Practice(s)
We recommend you block off the day on the day of the meeting, as we anticipate the hearing will begin at 9 a.m. and could last well into the late afternoon. You’ll need to be ready to testify when called on during the meeting—which can happen anytime after the hearing begins. We recognize this may not be an option for everyone. We also encourage you to bring 20 copies of your testimony for the SBOE.
Tips for writing your testimony
Tell your story and be concise! Your testimony should be about 1-2 minutes.
Roadmap to the components of a great testimony
- Introduce yourself – Who are you? (Parent, Educator, Student, etc)
- EX: My name is _____ and I am a [parent\relative, student, educator] at [insert school name or city area]
- Let them know why you are testifying– You want honest and accurate education for students to succeed.
- Ex: I am here today to urge board members to\for [adopt science textbooks that teach our kids the truth about the world they will inherit through honest, accurate education on climate change, evolution, and other science topics. -or- [science textbooks that meet the standards according to scientists, qualified experts, and reviewers of these textbooks.]
- Tell them why it is important – Your personal story and experiences (Why education around climate change and evolution matters for the future of our kids and world.)
- Ex: Climate change is all around us – our kids lived through the winter storm and have grown up during a time when summer temperatures break new records each year. They see the world around them. They deserve to understand it and be equipped with the knowledge they need to meet the challenges of climate change.
- The Ask – Listen to science experts by adopting textbooks that teach science accurately, honestly, and thoroughly.
- Ex: I ask that you put students first. Adopt accurate, honest science textbooks that meet our standards. Ignore political games for the sake of our kids’ futures.
- Closing – Thank them for their time.
Delivering your testimony
Before the hearing, practice your script until it feels natural, keeping it under 2 minutes. On the day of the hearing, you’ll be called up to a small podium with a microphone. Don’t waste time asking if they can hear you, just jump right into your testimony.
When testifying, you’ll get time warnings — the first bell means you have 30 seconds remaining, so keep going! The second bell means your time is up.
- If you can, print 20 copies of your testimony beforehand and give them to a TEA representative after you give your testimony.
Talking points: What to focus on in your testimony
The best message comes in your own words and highlights your own experiences. The most powerful testimony is also the simplest to deliver—telling your personal story. You are the expert of your own experience.
- Emphasize the values/importance of teaching the truth:
- With massive wildfires, increasingly destructive storms, and other extreme weather events more common now around the state, country, and world, the state board should treat climate change like the global emergency it is. This requires the board to lead in approving textbooks that teach updated and accurate information on climate change.
- There is nothing radical about teaching students the truth about climate change. The textbooks are simply pointing out the overwhelming scientific evidence about what is causing climate change and how that affects our planet and society.
- Call on the SBOE to do the right thing
- A panel of scientists and educators – real experts – who reviewed the proposed science textbooks found that nearly all meet the standards and other requirements set out by the State Board of Education when it comes to addressing climate change [and evolution]. While these reviewers often wanted more robust coverage of climate change, there is no reason for the board to reject these textbooks based on false claims that they fail to meet the state’s requirements.
- Forcing publishers to censor what students learn about climate change would be incredibly irresponsible. Students deserve to learn the information they need to understand a crisis they are inheriting and will have to deal with the rest of their lives.
- Highlight the scientific consensus
- Independent and official reviewers for the state board’s adoption process say the textbooks meet the standards and other requirements the board has set for these textbooks, including on climate change and evolution.
- Policymakers can debate the best policies for addressing climate change. But textbooks and public schools should teach students the truth about the science so that they can become informed adults and voters who are better prepared to address the challenges they will inherit.
Tip: Focus on just one or two talking points that are most important to you.
Reach out to [email protected] for our full list of talking points.
Maximize your time
- Use your time to share your story and advocate for the adoption of accurate science textbooks.
- The hearing can run long; bring snacks, water, and a charger for your devices. We’ll be there to track and try to notify you when it’s your turn to testify.
- Finally, don’t be discouraged! We won’t lie, there is a chance that you won’t get to testify due to the time limit, and that’s the hard reality. However, it is still incredibly important that you register to testify. They need to see just how many people care about accurate, honest education, and if you end up unable to testify, your name is on the record that you tried.
- If you have access to a printer, we encourage you to print 20 copies of your testimony to hand out to SBOE members.
Recommended parking garages – note they are not free.
- Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
(3-minute walk to William B. Travis Building)
Address: 1800 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701
- UT Brazos Garage
(5-minute walk to William B. Travis Building)
Address: 210 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78705
- Plan to wear business or business casual attire if possible
- No signs or clapping\cheering are allowed in the hearing room.
- Face masks are not required but are highly encouraged.
Need some support?
Feeling unsure or have questions? Reach out to [email protected].