Image: Advertising for iCivics, the leftist civics activism curriculum, which the Texas Federation of Republican Women want to ensure may remain within the curricula of Texas public schools.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Austin, June 24 – When Texas Governor Greg Abbott answered questions in his June 22, 2021, townhall meeting, and announced that “critical race theory” legislation would be among the three topics in the Special Legislative Session beginning July 8, many Texans scratched their heads. House Bill 3979, which bans the teaching of racist “critical race theory” in Texas public schools and which State Representative Steve Toth, Republican of Conroe, authored, was among the legislation Abbott already signed into law since the 87th Texas Legislature concluded its business at the end of May.
It turns out, however, that the Texas Federation of Republican Women (TFRW) had actually asked Governor Abbott to veto Toth’s bill rather than sign it into law. TFRW has aligned itself with iCivics, a leftist civics activism curriculum, which trains children in public schools how to accomplish the liberal political agenda so important to the primary contributors to the Cambridge, Massachusetts – based organization, which receives substantial funds from the leftist Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and from other left-leaning organizations and individuals. In fact, iCivics’ staff members “have donated exclusively to Democrat politicians or Democrat political action committees over the past eight major election cycles since iCivics was founded,” according to a study by the Association of Mature American Citizens, the conservative counterpart to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Glynis Chester, President of TFRW, provided a very thorough response to some questions The Golden Hammer posed to her yesterday:
Thank you for reaching out to me. The Texas Federation of Republican Women would like critical race theory (CRT) to be prohibited in all grades, and in all curriculums, in Texas schools. Unfortunately, HB 3979 does not accomplish this goal. We did request that Governor Abbott take up this bill in a special session to correct the deficiencies that currently exist, and we are very grateful that he agreed to do so.
The major shortcomings of HB3979 as it is currently written are:
1. The prohibition of CRT is limited to “required social studies curriculum”. Which means that it is permissible in elementary, middle, and high school in any other course ie. Language arts.
2. The private funding prohibition is also limited and can still be accepted for developing CRT curriculum.
3. Some of the documents added under the “knowledge” section of (h-2) actually provide a backdoor for CRT to be discussed in any classroom.
4. Section (h-3)(3) prohibits students from receiving class credit needed for graduation for volunteer work (community service hours) for charitable entities, because almost any charitable enterprise (food bank, community garden, clothing drive, church work, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts) can be considered “social or public policy advocacy” which is prohibited.
The original intent of this section was to prevent inappropriate student political activism. TFRW previously had worked out precise language with the Senate that avoided a broad application that would throw out good volunteer work also. Unfortunately, all of the language in the version of HB 3979 that passed out of the Senate was stripped from the bill before final passage.
Thank you again for reaching out to ask where we stand on this issue. Many others have reported one thing or another without ever asking. We are hopeful that a robust bill can be produced in the special session that eliminates CRT and improves civics education.
Stanley Kurtz, an Analyst with the conservative Washington, D.C.-based Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote in National Review in a March 29, 2021, article entitled “Civics Showdown in Texas,” that:
“TFRW has been the most vocal member of the Texas Civic Education Coalition, led by Wendy May-Dreyer, chair of the national board of iCivics, the most prominent national supporter of protest civics. I and others have written at some length on the history and current activities of iCivics, detailing the way in which this Cambridge, Mass.,-based group undermined the high-quality Massachusetts history standards and replaced them with thin and fashionable leftist standards; the way in which the goals of iCivics and its coalition partners line up with partisan Democratic agendas; and the way in which iCivics pushes CRT onto our schools. It is passing strange to see an ostensibly Republican organization such as TFRW doing the legislative legwork for iCivics and the protest-civics crowd.”
After House Bill 3979 passed the Texas House of Representatives and proceeded to the Texas Senate for consideration, Julie Silverbrook, an iCivics staffer wrote an amendment, which passed the Senate, to ensure that iCivics could remain in Texas public schools. After the House-Senate Conference Committee stripped Silverbrook’s and iCivics’ amendment from the bill, TFRW’s Vice President for Legislative Affairs Robbi Hull contacted Governor Abbott’s office several times to request that the Governor veto the bill, according to two individuals, one a House staffer and one a staff member in the Governor’s Office, both of whom requested anonymity for fear of reprisal.
Toth, the author of the major legislation banning “critical race theory,” and Senator Brandon Creighton, the sponsor of Toth’s bill in the Texas Senate, have other plans for the Special Session. Toth told this newspaper yesterday, “Senator Creighton and I are working on broadening the ban on the teaching of ‘critical race theory’ to higher education, training in state agencies, and reading lists in Texas public schools. We also want to add transparency in classrooms and require that all independent school districts put up on their website the entire curriculum that’s being taught in classrooms.”
Undoubtedly, Governor Abbott has set up a fight during the upcoming Special Session among powerful forces trying to control the direction of indoctrination of children in Texas public schools.