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Education Policy

Texas Education Advocacy

Decisions made by state-level officials have a profound impact on the quality of education the state provides to its students. Key policies involve how education is funded, the curriculum teachers use, the types of instructional programs schools must offer and much more. Many policies and practices have led to inequitable educational opportunities for students.  

Since its founding almost 50 years ago, IDRA has provided analysis and guidance to policymakers nationally while engaging with communities, educators and students on policy issues to ensure all students have access to equitable and excellent education.


Learn more about IDRA’s policy recommendations for Texas (En Español).

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Resources 

Changing Policy

Video gallery: Student Testimony Against Classroom Censorship

Video gallery: Student Testimony Against Transgender Sports Exclusion Bills

Video gallery: IDRA Education Advocacy and Testimony 

What does Texas HB 3979 do?

A note from Celina: Amplifying Texas’ People Power in a Legislative Session Marked by Harmful Policies, June 2, 2021

HB 3979 Conflicts with Established TEKS and Proven Effective Teaching Strategies, – IDRA Analysis, May 3, 2021

TEA Announces Release of $11.2 billion in Federal Relief for Schools, April 28, 2021

Texas Education Advocacy Video Gallery

IDRA’s Priority Bills for Education in Texas – Community Voices Matter (English) • (Español), March 18, 2021

Fair Funding for Strong Public School Education – IDRA Texas Priority Brief

Breaking the School-to-Prison and School-to-Deportation Pipelines – IDRA Texas Priority Brief

Grow and Sustain School District Health – IDRA Texas Priority Brief

Keep the Public in Public Education – IDRA Texas Priority Brief

Excellent Education for English Learners – IDRA Texas Priority Brief

College Preparation and Access that Expands Opportunities – IDRA Texas Priority Brief

A Comprehensive Equity Approach to Addressing COVID-19’s Impact on Schools – Policy Recommendations

• Policy Comments and Testimony in 2022

Texas Social Studies Content Recommendations Set a Strong Course for Student Success – IDRA Testimony on Workgroup D and E Recommendations for Kindergarten Through Eighth Grade Social Studies and Ethnic Studies Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, presented by Chloe Latham Sikes, Ph.D., to the Texas State Board of Education, August 1, 2022

Recent State Policy on Curriculum Leads to Classroom Censorship in Schools – IDRA Testimony on Interim Charge to Monitor State Policy on Curriculum and Instructional Materials Used in Public Schools, Re: HB 3979 (87R) and SB 3 (87, 2), submitted by Chloe Latham Sikes, Ph.D., to the Texas House Public Education Committee, July 26, 2022

Authentic Family Engagement is Parent Empowerment – IDRA Testimony on House Public Education Committee Interim Charge #3 regarding meaningful parent involvement in public schools, submitted by Chloe Latham Sikes, Ph.D., to the Texas House Public Education Committee, July 26, 2022

Joint letter opposing the State Board of Educator Certification rule to adopt edTPA as a required teacher certification examination, June 14, 2022

Defunding Texas’ Public Schools is Not Relief to Taxpayers – IDRA Testimony on Interim Charge on Property Tax Relief, Submitted to the Texas Senate Finance Committee, May 23, 2022

Texas Social Studies Curriculum Should Include Black, Latino, Indigenous and Women – IDRA Testimony on Proposed Framework for Kindergarten Through Grade 8 Social Studies Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, Submitted to the Texas State Board of Education, May 16, 2022

Migrant Students Have the Right to Attend Texas Public Schools Under the U.S. Constitution – IDRA Comment on Interim Charge on Impact of Migrant Children on Public Schools, Submitted to the Texas House Public Education Committee, April 26, 2022

Rules for Active Shooter Drills and Exercises in Schools Should Incorporate Best Practices for Student Safety and Positive School Climates – IDRA public comments on the proposed amendment to 19 TAC §103.1209 concerning mandatory school drills, related to implementing Senate Bill 168 (87R). Submitted to the Texas Education Agency, March 3, 2022

Letter to Austin ISD Superintendent regarding budget cuts, submitted by the BASS Coalition (Building Austin School Systems, education sub-committee of Austin Justice Coalition), including IDRA, March 3, 2022

Comments Regarding the Texas Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative on Workforce Development Goals, March 2, 2022

Joint letter: Don’t Hide Future Costs of Chapter 313 Tax Break, submitted by Every Texan, IDRA and nine other organizations, December 13, 2021

Joint letter to the Williamson County Commissioners Court concerning its decision to discontinue allocating millions of dollars in federal CARES Act funding to Leander and Round Rock ISDs, based on an issue du jour of the ongoing culture war in public education. Submitted by IDRA, Texas Freedom Network, Every Texan, and Children’s Defense Fund Texas, December 20, 2021

• Policy Comments and Testimony in 2021

See comments and testimony during the 2021 legislative sessions

Engaging Communities

IDRA partnered with other civil rights and educational equity organizations to demand that school districts immediately return the books they had removed from its school library shelves. Most of the books focus on histories of racism and discrimination and the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color.

HB 3979 & SB3 limit speech and engagement in Texas classrooms! webpage with link to videos

Organizations Opposing Texas HB 3979, May 10, 2021

Historians, parents say Texas bill limiting instruction about race and current events hurt, by Gabriela Vidal, CBS Austin, May 21, 2021

Historians decry Texas bill that would restrict school lessons on race, racism, by Jeremy Blackman, Brittany Britto, Staff writers, San Antonio Express-News, May 21, 2021

Critical Race Theory Ban in Classrooms Approved by Senate Committee, Stripped of Democrat Changes, by Isiah Mitchell, The Texan, May 20, 2021

What new laws will impact Texas students? Experts weigh in on what to watch as legislators wrap up work, Emily Donaldson, Dallas Morning News, May 19, 2021

Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News – Week of May 24, 2021 (English) • (Español), May 24, 2021

Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News – Week of May 10, 2021 (English) • (Español), May 10, 2021

Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News – Week of May 3, 2021 (English) • (Español), May 3, 2021

Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News – Week of April 26, 2021 (English) • (Español), April 26, 2021

Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News – Week of April 19, 2021 (English) • (Español), April 19, 2021

Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News – Week of April 12, 2021 (English) • (Español), April 12, 2021

Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News – Week of April 5, 2021 (English) • (Español), April 7, 2021

Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News – Week of March 29, 2021 (English) • (Español), March 29, 2021

Texas Education Policy Update – Advocacy News – Week of March 22, 2021 (English) • (Español), March 22, 2021

Joint Letter to Public Education Committee opposing House Bill 759, March 16, 2021

Ensuring a Safe, Transparent, Participatory and Robust Legislative Session – Letter from 72 Texas Groups, December 9, 2020

Texas Education CAFE Advocacy Network

Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition (TLEEC)

Communicating Effectively 

Knowledge is Power is IDRA’s national resource for educators and advocates to help you do your work for equity and excellence in education in the midst of classroom censorship policies.

Students Tell Texas Attorney General that Racial Discrimination in School is Real – IDRA Applauds Students Speaking Out Against Texas’ New Classroom Censorship Law (Español), September 29, 2021

88 public school students described their experiences with racial discrimination in school

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