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Summary: Under current law, open-enrollment charter schools are not required to have their students say a pledge to the United States Flag nor the Texas Flag and are not required to observe a moment of silence after reciting the pledges; however, public schools are required to administer these actions. HB 773 changes the law to require the open-enrollment charter schools to participate in the pledges and observe a moment of silence.
Analysis: HB 773 addresses a legitimate role of government within the framework of the Texas Constitution "...to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools" (The Texas Constitution, Article 7, Sec. 1). Furthermore, the Texas Education Code Section 4.001(a) states: "The mission of the public education system of this state is to ensure that all Texas children have access to a quality education that enables them to achieve their potential and fully participate now and in the future in the social, economic, and educational opportunities of our state and nation." Open-charter schools are part of the public education system. The pledges provide the basis for understanding the philosophy behind how our state and nation function. We encourage the Legislature to vote for HB 773.