Don’t Florida Our Texas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
Date Posted: 4/05/2022
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s campaign email promising passage of legislation similar to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida is nothing more than election-year political theater designed to galvanize his political base ahead of the November election. It’s a page out of the same playbook Gov. Greg Abbott used when announcing his own proposed “Parental Bill of Rights.”
Such legislation would be largely meaningless in Texas, where we already have well-established, effective processes through the State Board of Education for adopting school curriculum standards with the input of educators, content experts, and members of the community, including parents. These processes have evolved after years of unnecessary conflict during which uninformed elected officials tended to substitute their own personal beliefs and values for fact-based curriculum and excluded both teachers and parents from providing meaningful input in the TEKS review process. We don’t need to revisit that time in our history.
Texas also has a comprehensive, transparent set of parental rights already written into our state laws that ensure parents have knowledge of and participation in their children’s education. We are not Florida, and we do not need Florida’s legislation. Our state’s leaders, notwithstanding their re-election campaigns, should know more about what is in Texas law now and pay more attention to what is happening at home rather than somewhere in the Magic Kingdom or on a future presidential campaign trail.
Texas educators are offended by campaign rhetoric suggesting they are “indoctrinating” students. We need our state’s leaders to join us in focusing on the real issues, such as getting students back on track after COVID-19 and addressing the serious challenges affecting teacher recruitment and retention.
About the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE)
Founded in 1980, ATPE is the leading educators’ association in Texas with approximately 100,000 members statewide. With its strong collaborative philosophy, ATPE speaks for classroom teachers, administrators, and future, retired, and para-educators and works to create better opportunities for Texas’ five million public school students. | atpe.org