Texas Passes H.B. 3979, Attorneys General Oppose CRT, and Some Local Victories

David Randall

Resolute is the Civics Alliance’s newsletter, informing you about the most urgent issues in civics education. Above all, Resolute will provide information about federal and state legislation that seeks to impose action civics, or to preserve traditional civics.

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Texas Legislature Passes H.B. 3979

The Texas Legislature has passed House Bill 3979, a bill which is expected to be signed by Governor Greg Abbott and which would become the first in the country to ban both Action Civics and key elements of Critical Race Theory. H.B. 3979 is modeled on Stanley Kurtz’s “Partisanship Out of Civics Act” and is an admirable first step in the fight against these divisive pedagogies on the state level. We applaud the Texas legislature for passing H.B. 3979 and we eagerly look forward to Governor Abbott’s signature of the bill.

Action Civics Proponents Flooding the Zone in D.C.

Action Civics proponents have now introduced five separate bills into the U.S. Congress—and more may be on the way. Even if the Civics Secures Democracy Act fails, they may try to slip in Action Civics by other means. The Civics Alliance continues to track all these bills, and we urge you to inform your representatives and senators about the effects of each of these bills.

Appeal to Senator Cornyn and Representative Cole

Representatives of the Civics Alliance and the National Association of Scholars published an appeal to Senator John Cornyn and Representative Tom Cole to withdraw their support from the Civics Secures Democracy Act. Senator Cornyn has not yet changed his mind, but Representative Tom Cole has begun to express doubts. We urge Civics Alliance members to add their signatures to the appeal to Senator Cornyn and Representative Cole. We also urge Civics Alliance members to contact Senator Cornyn and Representative Cole directly, to inform them of the nature of Action Civics.

State Attorneys General Step Up to Oppose U.S. Education Department Support of CRT

Twenty state attorneys general have written the U.S. Education Department to express their opposition to Critical Race Theory. The Civics Alliance commends their letter and urges them to follow up with all legal means available to oppose the imposition of Critical Race Theory on America’s schools. We urge you to contact these attorneys general to inform them of your support for their actions—and to inform them about the effects of Action Civics as well.

South Dakota Resolution: A Model for State Legislatures

The South Dakota Joint Committee of Appropriations passed a resolution and letter of intent, directed to the state Education Department, advising it not to apply for history or civics grants from the U.S. Education Department until the state legislature can examine the implications of the Department’s announced 1619 Project/“anti-racism” priorities. This action is a model for state legislators who face an impending end of their session and are not in a position to hold hearings or pass legislation. We urge you to inform state lawmakers of this option—especially state legislators who are members of Appropriations Joint Committees. Education Departments pay attention to declarations of intent from state legislators who hold the purse strings.

School Board PAC Created

The 1776 Project PAC has just been formed, which is dedicated to funding candidates for school board elections who will remove Critical Race Theory from the schools. This PAC is too new for us to judge its effectiveness—but we need a thousand PACs like this, and grassroots efforts school board-by-school board to remove Action Civics and Critical Race Theory from our schools. These grassroots efforts should be as professionally funded, organized, and publicized as possible. The 1776 Project PAC points the way toward fulfilling that goal.

Local Work, Local Victories

Americans can only sweep back Action Civics and Critical Race Theory by local work in each town and school. They have begun to do this work—and they have begun to achieve victories. Other Americans should read this news to take heart—and to take notes on how to organize themselves.

Minnesota

  • Champlin parent writes letter to the editor protesting Critical Race Theory.
  • Eden Prairie School board members defeat social justice resolution.
  • Lakeville parents protest Critical Race Theory at school board meeting.
  • University of Northwestern-St. Paul students petition against school teaching Critical Race Theory.

New York

  • American Enterprise Institute Fellow Ian Rowe elected to Pelham school board.
  • Save Our Schools campaigning against Critical Race Theory in Smithtown.

Ohio

  • Columbus parents write open letter to Columbus Academy administration.

Texas

  • Opponents of Critical Race Theory sweep the Southlake school board election.

Civics Alliance State Affiliates

The Civics Alliance would like to build up a network of state affiliates—groups dedicated to removing Action Civics in their state—whom we would list on our forthcoming website. If you would like to form such an organization, or suggest an existing organization, please get in touch with Civics Alliance Policy Director David Randall ([email protected]).

Action Civics and CRT: Spotlight on Portland

Christopher Rufo’s “The Child Soldiers of Portland” provides a chilling look at how Action Civics and Critical Race Theory turn schoolchildren into radical activists.

Continuing Priorities: Federal Legislation

At the federal level, the Civics Secures Democracy Act threatens to impose action civics nationwide.

The Civics Bill Tracker

Civics Alliance members may now use the Civics Bill Tracker to view all proposed federal and state legislation related to civics.

Public Action

We encourage Civics Alliance members to inform the public and policymakers about the stakes and consequences of Action Civics bills.


David Randall is Director of Research at the National Association of Scholars and Project Director of the Civics Alliance.

Image: Paul Hudson, Wikimedia CommonsCreative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, cropped.

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