Update: American Indian/Native Studies Course Still in SBOE Limbo

Illustration by Deante’ Moore

As of this writing, the agenda for the April meeting of the State Board of Education has yet to be posted, and so we anxiously await whether the proposed American Indian/Native Studies course will finally be on the agenda for first reading.  
The course was excluded from the January SBOE agenda with little explanation. Several advocates attended the meeting to testify eloquently on the value of and need for the course, but discussion in the room was limited due to open-meetings regulations. 

Long-time advocates are rightly concerned that an omission of the course from the April agenda could delay the review process another year or more. If the pattern of delay continues, the process could be put on hold indefinitely. 

The American Indian/Native Studies course has been in development for more than three years and is currently approved by the Texas Education Agency as an elective credit through the Innovative Courses program. Should the SBOE choose to review and adopt the course into the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for social studies, it would be the first of its kind for high school students nationwide. 

More than 30 organizations, including Texas AFT, have signed on to a letter of support for the course. You can show your support for the course by signing a petition from the Ethnic Studies Coalition.  

We will provide additional information in our SBOE preview in next week’s Hotline.