Texas Senate advances bill to restrict how race, nation’s history is taught in schools

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SB3, which passed the Republican-led chamber in a 18-4 vote last week, now remains stalled in the state House after that chamber’s Democrats broke quorum and went to Washington, DC, to block action on a separate restrictive voting law. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott listed a proposal “concerning critical race theory” among his priorities for the legislature’s special session that convened earlier this month.

With SB3, Republican lawmakers are essentially seeking to replace the entire House bill, which Abbott just signed into law in June and is set to go into effect in September.

HB3979 calls on the Texas Board of Education to “adopt essential knowledge and skills that develop each student’s civic knowledge” by using historical primary documents to promote the understanding of a variety of topics, including subjects like: “the fundamental moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American experiment in self-government,” the civil rights movement, the history of Native Americans and women’s suffrage.

However, the bill states that teachers can’t “require” or include in their courses, the concept that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex” or the concept that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”

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