New bill could mean big changes for education curriculum in Texas

House Bill 3979 set to move on to Senate
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 5:49 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (TNN) - Public Education in the Lone Star State could see some big changes in the social studies curriculum coming in the form of House Bill 3979.

On Tuesday, the House passed the bill by a vote of 79 to 65 and it will now move on to the Senate.

“It’s basically teaching students about the Founding Fathers, what they meant, why our country was created, the issues that they were thinking of, and what was important to them,” Texas House District 68 Representative David Spiller said.

The bill hopes to teach students “essential knowledge and skills,” and the “fundamental, moral, political Foundations of the American experiment.” Ideas of critical race theory, however, which look at how the law intersects with race through history, are limited.

“It’s extremely unfortunate that the legislator would move to pass such a bill because, at the end of the day, this is the story of America,” Houston-based attorney Dominique Calhoun said.

Spiller, a Jacksboro native who was a sponsor for the bill, told News Channel 6 that while he has no problem with these theories, there were instances where teachers didn’t have enough time to cover the “fundamentals.”

In addition to issues of race, the bill also address theories on sex not being a requirement as well as the discussion of current events. Teachers would also not be allowed to give students extra credit who work with organizations that lobby for legislation at the local, state, and federal level.

“Teachers just want to be able to teach, they just want to be able to do their job,” Spiller said. “Let’s not bog them down with too many details and not bog them down in politics.”

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