LEWISVILLE, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, during a campaign stop Thursday in Lewisville, debuted what he calls his “Parental Bill of Rights.”
Abbott said the bill will give parents final say when it comes to the education of their children and he’ll amend the state constitution in order to implement it.
“Parents. Matter. Under my Parental Bill of Rights, we will amend the Texas Constitution to reinforce that parents are the main decision makers in all matters involving their children,” Abbott wrote in social media posts.
“Under my plan, we will expand parents’ access to school curriculum and make sure that material is available through online or other easy, accessible ways. And, we will assure that parents’ concerns about school curriculum or policies will be heard quickly and respectfully,” Abbott said Thursday.
This comes in the wake of battles between the state and Texas school districts over masks mandates.
It also comes after state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, in 2021 launched an investigation into certain school districts over what books students can access.
Abbott wants the State Board of Education to remove books with "overtly sexual" content in school libraries. He’s also tasked the Education Commissioner, SBOE and Texas State Library and Archives Commission with developing standards for what gets into libraries.
The Dallas Morning News noted that the Texas Education Code already includes a chapter outlining parental rights and responsibilities.
In a statement, Shannon Holmes, executive director of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, said Abbott’s bill isn’t about granting decision-making power to parents.
“The so-called ‘Parental Bill of Rights’ wouldn’t give Texas parents any new rights. Every ‘issue’ described is already addressed in existing state law and local policies,” Holmes wrote. “Instead, Gov. Abbott’s pledge to ‘bolster’ parent rights would only serve to place additional governmental mandates on school districts and teachers already stretched to their limits due to staffing shortages.”
Abbott is running for a third term in office this year and faces primary challenges from Republicans including former state senator Don Huffines and former Texas GOP chairman Allen West, among others.
The primary is March 1.