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Relating to the social studies curriculum in public schools.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 3979 would require the State Board of Education to adopt essential knowledge and skills for students' civic knowledge, including an understanding of the fundamental moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American experiment in self-government, as well as the history, qualities, traditions, and features of civic engagement in the United States, 2) the structure, function, and processes of government institutions at the federal, state, and local levels, and 3) the founding documents of the United States as well as writings of various Founding Fathers, the Federalist Papers, excerpts from de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, and the transcript of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate.
The bill also prohibits, in the instruction of this civics education, teachers from requiring as credit, their students to engage in political activism, lobbying, or similar activities, and prohibits the teaching of certain concepts including that any race or sex is superior to another, or that one race deserves different treatment from another.
HB 3979 stipulated that a teacher may not be compelled to discuss current or widely debated and controversial events but requires if they choose to do so to offer diverse perspectives on the subjects in a way that is viewpoint neutral.
HB 3979 stipulates that private funding may not be used for the purpose of developing curriculum, materials, or providing teacher training related to the civics instruction required by the bill.
Texas Action strongly supports HB 3979 on the principles of individual liberty and limited government. Civics education as provided for by this bill would provide students a crucial understanding of our nation's founding and the philosophical underpinnings of the principles of liberty and limited government.