Education bureaucracy in Texas fears political backlash on Critical Race Theory

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

Ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, parents are in an uproar, which is worrying education bureaucrats, school board officials, and activist teachers in the education bureaucracy. In the Lone Star State of Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has made parental rights in education a priority in his re-election campaign, which has put him at odds with the education establishment.

The Dallas Morning News, a left-wing newspaper based in Texas, reported on the alleged rank partisanship of conservatives in discussing education issues. It blasted the governor for issuing a parental bill of rights in education at a recent campaign event and for creating “a wedge issue.” The newspaper failed to outline what was included in the parental bill of rights, which The Deseret News, a Utah-based news outlet, found:

  • Expanding parental access to curriculum plans and establishing a process to address concerns
  • Permitting parents to decide whether a child will repeat a course or a grade
  • Banning the sale or sharing of personal data outside of the education system
  • Removing both education and licensing credentials of any education staff member (and placing on the do-not-hire list) who gives minors pornographic materials
  • Mandating that the proposed Parental Bill of Rights will be posted online by schools, in addition to listing alternative schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and public schools.

Teachers’ unions oppose Abbott’s proposal and accuse him of injecting politics into education, inflammatory rhetoric directed against teachers and school systems as a whole. The Texas chapter president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), Zeph Capo, said that Abbott pushes a “phony, politicized storyline … that ends up targeting and vilifying teachers and schools.”

An official at the Association of Texas Professional Educators, Shannon Holmes, said that the Texas education code does allow for parents and educators to partner up in a child’s learning.

Abbott’s presumed Democratic Party opponent, former congressman and failed presidential candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, said he would be supportive of teachers.

However, the teachers’ unions’ instinct was to first line up a defense for teachers, but did not address serious concerns about terrible school policies on children. Some examples of these policies are mask mandates, quarantines or isolation policies, and remote learning policies.

Data has consistently shown that mask mandates in schools are ineffective and do not stop the spread or infection of the coronavirus, in addition to creating anxiety issues for children with asthma and special needs. Quarantine and isolation policies have changed during the pandemic and it has caused confusion among parents, teachers, and children. Remote learning, which is the newest wording for online learning, has had a significant negative effect on test scores and overall learning.

Texas is not the only state facing the anti-union headwinds in the upcoming 2022 fall midterm elections, especially after underdog Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin won the governor’s mansion in Virginia in 2021. Other states are facing similar issues on how to properly govern school policies at the school board or state levels.