IDRA Statement on SB 3 Passage

(September 3, 2021) Last night, the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 3, a classroom censorship bill that will impact K-12 students and teachers across the state. The bill is the second attempt by conservative Texas lawmakers to control historical narratives and limit classroom discussions about race and discrimination. The first attempt, House Bill 3979, passed into law and became effective this week.

“Texas continues to enact laws that whitewash curriculum and harm students,” said IDRA President & CEO Celina Moreno. “But our coalition of incredible Texas students, teachers and families, who have opposed these bills for months and similar efforts to silence communities of color for generations, is more determined than ever to continue the fight.”

SB 3, which will replace HB 3979 once the Governor signs it, removes social studies learning standards about communities of color and women. It expands many of the prohibitions in the law that limit the discussion of topics concerning bias and systemic discrimination in schools.

Under SB 3, these prohibitions will now apply not only to social studies classes but to all K-12 courses, including ethnic studies. For a full breakdown of SB 3, see this explainer from the Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition.

“Despite these laws, we must continue to teach the truth,” Moreno said. “This work must be done through authentic student and family engagement, educator training, and persistent policy advocacy.”

Check out IDRA’s Knowledge is Power, our new 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.