Texas State Board of Ed. proposes curriculum without LGBTQ+ inclusivity or climate science

Empty classrooms
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Wikimedia Commons / Akbarali
Young Texans deserve a complete and accurate education

After months of enlisting work groups to draft revisions to Texas’ curriculum standards and hearing constituents’ personal testimonies, some members of the State Board Of Education still stand in the way of Texas students receiving LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education and a science curriculum that accurately depicts climate change. This week, the SBOE will hold its second and final public reading on the Science and Health TEKS revisions, which includes the science standards for four core high school classes and sex education guidelines from Nov. 17-20. 

The typical route for curriculum adoption is a three-meeting process:  a public hearing, then a public hearing and first reading of the policy, then final adoption for the newly revised curriculum. But now the SBOE has decided to rush the process by only holding two meetings, with a reading of the policy taking place at the same time as final adoption, eliminating a meeting where the public can testify on proposed revisions.

The main issue with this decision is that the currently proposed revisions lack any mention of LGBTQ+ inclusive health guidelines and fail to accurately depict climate change in its science guidelines. New reports have given Texas a rating of F for how it handles climate change in the curriculum, and Texas ranks 39th in the nation on public support for LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance of LGBTQ+ people.

The state board of education has the power to decide what thousands of students all across the state learn in their classes for years to come. If passed, these new curriculum standards that fail to include this vital information could be in place for a decade or more. This is why it’s important for the SBOE to slow down, adhere to the original curriculum adoption process, and direct the work groups drafting the revisions to include LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum standards, as well as learning about climate change from K-12.

Not only do Texas students deserve medically accurate and inclusive LGBTQ+ sex education, but they also deserve to be taught about climate change since they are to inherit this earth and all of the environmental damages that come with it. For more information, check out our friends at the Texas Freedom Network who have been working hard to bring about change at the SBOE.