FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 22, 2023
CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected]
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs today will hear Senate Bill 8, an omnibus bill that seeks to divert public funds to private schools, censor educational content and programming across all grade levels, and allow school districts to impose fees and costs on parents who bring administrative complaints.
Texas Freedom Network Vice President of Programs Marti Bier (they/them) issued the following response:
“Our children are not political pawns to serve an extremist agenda. SB 8 would steal public funds from our neighborhood schools, diverting our tax dollars to unregulated private schools that can legally discriminate against children and families. Even with the small credit from the government, the vast majority of Texan families would still be unable to afford most private school tuition. SB8 also contains a ‘Don’t Say Gay/Transgender’ requirement, using alarmingly vague language to ban ‘instruction, guidance, activities, or programming regarding sexual orientation or gender identity’ for every grade level. Cruel policies like SB 8 create an unsafe, hostile learning environment for LGBTQIA+ students, families, and educators while violating the rights of all families and parents who support inclusivity.
“Our state government has a responsibility to serve our students, and instead of focusing on the rampant gun violence in our schools or the ongoing teacher shortage, our leaders are choosing to attack their own constituents. We will not be still or silent while this sweeping legislation decimates public education as we know it in Texas. All students—no matter where they live, how much money their parents make, or the color of their skin—deserve an accurate, honest education that represents everyone in our communities, including LGBTQIA+ Texans. We will never stop fighting to ensure our public schools are fully funded and can teach the truth.”