Culture Wars Took a Back Seat to Solving Real Problems in 2013 Legislative Session
Extremism, Ideological Purity Undermine Influence of Far-Right Legislators
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2013
Today Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller had the following comments on the end of the legislative session:
into this legislative session, culture warriors insisted that they
would focus on divisive issues like passing private school vouchers,
undermining sex education and continuing their attacks on women’s access
to birth control,” Miller said. “But an increasing number of lawmakers
in both parties demonstrated that they are losing patience with those
who want to turn legislating into tests of ideological purity rather
than solve real problems. The real concerns of the vast majority of
Texans are good schools and a strong economy. Promoting the culture wars
provides no solutions to those concerns."
Miller noted some important victories for Texas families in the 2013 session of the Texas Legislature:
Lawmakers restored funding for primary health care and family planning
for low-income women, and legislation that would have undermined
responsible sex education in public schools across Texas failed to pass.
- No private school voucher bills made it to the floor of either
chamber, and the Texas House voted overwhelmingly to bar any public
funding for private school vouchers.
- Legislation that would
have undermined religious freedom for Texans of all faiths failed to
pass. That included an ill-considered constitutional amendment
undercutting important protections in the state's Religious Freedom
- Legislation that would have forced colleges and universities to
give official approval and even funding to student organizations that
discriminate failed to pass.
- A bill essentially requiring
institutions of higher education to treat creationism as legitimate
scientific research was never even considered in committee.
Sadly, Senator Dan Patrick, R-Houston, succeeded in bullying the
state's Education Service Centers into eliminating a key component of
the CSCOPE program that more than 850 small and mid-size school
districts relied on to teach the state's unwieldy and cumbersome
curriculum standards, Miller said.
“It's shameful that Sen. Patrick and a handful of other lawmakers
legitimized a witch hunt that unfairly and absurdly demonized Texas
teachers as somehow helping to indoctrinate students into Marxism and
Islam," she said. "Hundreds of school districts were counting on the
curriculum assistance and lesson plans provided by CSCOPE next school
year. So the results of this witch hunt could be increased costs to
taxpayers and lining the pockets of education profiteers.”
The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots
organization of religious and community leaders who support religious
freedom, individual liberties and public education.