The Mexican American Legislative Caucus held a “Special Hearing on State Board of Education” all day Wednesday, April 28. The Mexican-American Legislative Caucus was joined by members of the House Black Caucus, the Senate Hispanic Caucus and the Legislative Study Group to hear testimony on the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE), which has made national headlines recently for its proposed controversial social studies curriculum changes.
Some lawmakers and historians contend the proposed curriculum standards distort history and shortchange the contributions of Hispanics and African Americans while others point to the length of time the SBOE has spent on curriculum deliberations as proof the SBOE has done its due diligence to ensure a balanced curriculum.
The State Board of Education last month approved more than 100 amendments to the curriculum standards and plans to take a final vote during their May 20th board meeting. Critics of the proposed curriculum changes would prefer the board wait until January 2011, after the November elections to take a final vote on the standards.
David Anderson a principal at HillCo Partners testified during the hearing. He spoke to the pending deadlines, noting that November is a critical review date of content so publishers can meet their deadlines to have textbooks published and in the hands of students for the following school year. Furthermore, he highlighted budget concerns for the upcoming session stating $850 million is needed for Proclamation 2011 and does not even include Proclamation 2012. Rep. Jim Pitts has said these figures are “sobering for all parties.” Members on the committee stated Anderson has “shed a whole new light on fiscal responsibility.”