Promoting Civic Values and Defending Liberties

Against the national backdrop of the spread of critical race theory and calls to defund the police, the Legislature not only passed HB 3979, but passed a number of bills to ensure that children in Texas are taught to value their state and country and recognize their citizens’ accomplishments and progress. Further, the legislature ensured that entities who receive state funds or contracts do not hold discriminatory policies that affect Texas industries or undermine Texas values.

Combating Critical Race Theory (CRT) – HOUSE BILL 3979 restricts the teaching of the poisonous ideology of CRT in public school social studies courses. The bill requires the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for the social studies curriculum to help students develop civic knowledge and an understanding of “the fundamental moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American experiment in self-government.” The bill prohibits stereotyping or blaming people or terming one race or sex inherently superior to another race or sex. Teachers who discuss current events or controversial issues will have to include diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective. The bill requires the teaching of history without using an approach that teaches children that the color of their skin is more important than the content of their character.

Professional Sports Teams Receiving Taxpayer Subsidies Must Respect the National Anthem - SENATE BILL 4 prohibits a governmental entity from entering into an agreement with a professional sports teams that requires a financial commitment by the state or any governmental entity unless the agreement also requires the national anthem to be played before the team’s home games. Sports teams are free to choose not to play the national anthem, but they will not receive government subsidies if that is their choice.

HOUSE BILL 20 prohibits a governmental entity from entering into an agreement with a professional sports teams that requires a financial commitment by the state or any governmental entity unless the agreement also requires the national anthem to be played before the team’s home games. Sports teams are free to choose not to play the national anthem, but they will not receive government subsidies if that is their choice.

HOUSE BILL 3433 prohibits insurers in Texas from discriminating against customers (or prospective customers), such as by denying coverage or by charging higher rates, based on the customer’s political beliefs. 

HOUSE BILL 2497 establishes the 1836 Project, which will promote “patriotic education and increase awareness of the Texas values that continue to stimulate boundless prosperity across the state.” The advisory committee overseeing the project will design a pamphlet providing an overview of the state’s history and explaining the significance of policy decisions in the state that promote liberty and freedom for businesses and families. These pamphlets will be distributed to people obtaining driver’s licenses. 

HOUSE BILL 4509 requires the teaching of informed patriotism in public schools. The bill requires public schools to develop students’ knowledge of “the fundamental moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American experiment in self-government” and the founding documents of the United States.  

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 12 affirms that the Texas Legislature claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government. The resolution further demands that the federal government reverse its practice of assuming powers and imposing mandates and laws upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the U.S. Constitution. This resolution is well-timed given the Biden administration’s announced regulatory goals.

SENATE BILL 13 prohibits a state agency or political subdivision that invests funds from investing in financial companies that boycott energy companies. Further, the bill requires the comptroller of public accounts to prepare, maintain, and provide a list of all financial companies that boycott energy companies. 

HOUSE BILL 2681 allows public schools to provide an academic study of the Bible as an elective course. The course will be offered in grade six or above. 

SENATE BILL 797 requires the United States motto, “In God We Trust”, to be displayed in public schools and institutions of higher education using private donations, reinforcing the founding principles of the United States. 

SENATE BILL 3 (87S(2)) updates legislation made law in the 87th Regular Session (HB 3979) which requires social studies teachers and courses to present material in a neutral and non-discriminatory way. The bill would require the commissioner of education to develop a civics training program for teachers and administrators.