Governor Greg Abbott signed several critical pieces of parent empowerment legislation passed during the 88th Regular Legislative Session into law at the Texas Capitol on Monday. The transformative package of four parent empowerment bills signed by the Governor will give parents access to course curriculum, allow parents to determine if their child should repeat a grade level, remove inappropriate books from school libraries, and support students with special needs.
“The House and Senate did a great job to provide transformative changes for education in the state of Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “Today, I will sign four bills into law that grant parents more rights in the education of their children. One of those bills transforms school curriculum, improving it for Texas parents, students, and teachers. We will empower parents of students with special needs with the tools and resources they need to provide their child with the best education. I will also sign a law where parents—not school administrators—have the option to determine whether it’s in the child’s best interest to repeat a grade level. Additionally, parents deserve to know what books are in school libraries. I’m signing a law that gets inappropriate or vulgar materials out of our schools.”
Governor Abbott was joined at the bill signing ceremony by Senator Brandon Creighton; Representatives Charles Cunningham, Lacey Hull, and Jared Patterson; Texas Public Policy Foundation CEO Greg Sindelar and Campaign Director Mandy Drogin; Texas parents; and other parent empowerment advocates.
House Bill 900 (Patterson/Paxton) prohibits the possession, acquisition, and purchase of harmful library material that is sexually explicit, pervasively vulgar, or educationally unsuitable. In November 2021, Governor Abbott sent a letter to the Texas Association of School Boards to ensure no child is exposed to sexually explicit or other inappropriate content at a Texas public school.
House Bill 1605 (Buckley/Creighton) allows parents to access and review instructional materials and requires districts to provide teachers with a full sequence of instructional materials so they do not have to devote personal or planning time to develop instructional materials themselves.
House Bill 1926 (Hull/Paxton) removes the $30 million cap on the total amount of funds that may be appropriated for the Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) program each fiscal year. This bill expands access to more students who need these critical services. In October 2020, Governor Abbott established the SSES program to offset learning disruptions caused by school closures.
House Bill 3803 (Cunningham/Paxton) allows parents to determine if their child should repeat a grade level for 4th through 8th grades or a high school level course. Texas students in grades four through eight are eligible to retake any course in which they were enrolled in the previous year unless the student has already met all requirements for graduation.