Education News

Texas State Board Delays Textbook Order for Ethnic Studies

The delay comes after the board agreed to order books in April.

 

For the first time ever, Texas high schools would be able to purchase state-approved books on African, Asian, Native and Mexican American studies.

Now they’ll have to wait an extra year.

This month the partisan 15-member state board pushed that order back to 2017.

DeEtta Culbertson with the Texas Education Agency says board members thought it would be too expensive because districts already have to buy other books.

“And they felt it would be in the best interest of all if they could delay the proclamation by one year.”

The proclamation is the official order to publishers.

Culbertson says statewide this delay will save school districts $78 million.

But others say politics – not finances – is driving the delay.

Tony Diaz is with the activist group Librotraficante and teaches at Lone Star College.

“They basically sabotaged these ethnic studies books that are needed now. And we shouldn’t wait an extra year or an extra minute for these books that are needed right now.”

Diaz believes Mexican American and other ethnic studies courses will get minority students more interested in their classes and help them do better in school.

His group is working to help schools still offer these courses.

We’re pushing forward. We’ve already started this huge network. There’s no going backwards.

He says they’ve launched a web site with free resources for teachers. 

 

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Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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