FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 21, 2022
CONTACT: Christine Bolaños, [email protected], (512) 767-2978
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION CURRICULUM DELAYS WILL HARM LATINO STUDENTS
The Texas State Board of Education has delayed critical updates to social studies curriculum after a small but powerful group of conservative lawmakers and special interest groups claimed the proposed updates downplayed American and Texan “exceptionalism” and did not provide enough opposing views on the gay rights movement.
Jolt Action stands for teaching the truth, even when it might be uncomfortable. Our kids’ education should not be designed to fit any political agenda. Public education makes Texas strong and the source of that strength comes from teaching the whole truth including history from the perspective of people of color and the LGBTQ+ community.
“Parents across Texas are sickened by lawmakers who play political games with our children’s futures,” said Jolt Communications Director Christine Bolaños. “Every Texan deserves an education that invites them to participate in the conversation, and for Latinos, seeing themselves in the lessons taught in classrooms and in books on school library shelves is critical to their education and sense of belonging.”
The education board’s decision to delay comes as Texas currently leads the nation in book bans. Latino authors including Isabelle Allende, Sandra Cisneros, Ashley Hope Perez and others are regularly targeted by school districts to have their work removed from libraries. According to data from the Texas Education Agency, more than 50% of Texas students are Latino, and these students deserve the chance to read authors who look like them.
While Latino students, students of color and LGBTQ+ students are the most directly affected by the actions of school boards and the State Board of Education, all students can benefit from learning accurate history, and exposure to the perspective of historically marginalized groups. Jolt Action is proud to join the call for the state education board to reverse its decision and not further delay updating social studies curriculum.
In addition to updating the curriculum to teach the truth about American and Texan history, the education board should work to create an inclusive curriculum at all levels of learning and should take steps to reverse the epidemic of banning stories about people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals. Jolt is calling on all parents with concerns about the education board’s actions to testify in-person at the board’s public meetings in Austin on September 26th and 27th.
“Our kids are too important for anyone to stay on the sidelines. We have the power to ensure that everyone has access to high quality education that prepares them for the real world, and now is the time to use our voices and show up for the next generation,” Bolaños said.