Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed legislation this week creating the Texas 1836 Project.
KSLA-TV reports the project will create an advisory committee of nine people that will help promote a “patriotic education” by focusing on the state’s history and values. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Dan Phelan will each appoint three members to the committee.
Abbott tweeted a video of the signing, writing: “To keep Texas the best state in the nation, we can never forget WHY our state is so exceptional. I signed a law establishing the 1836 project, which promotes patriotic education & ensures future generations understand TX values. Together, we’ll keep our rich history alive.”
To keep Texas the best state in the nation, we can never forget WHY our state is so exceptional.
I signed a law establishing the 1836 project, which promotes patriotic education & ensures future generations understand TX values.
Together, we’ll keep our rich history alive. pic.twitter.com/4yZuygS2yX
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 7, 2021
The 1836 Project requires the promotion of several areas of Texas history including, “awareness among residents of this state of the following as they relate to the history of prosperity and democratic freedom in this state: Texas history, including the indigenous peoples of this state, the Spanish and Mexican heritage of this state, Tejanos, the African-American heritage of this state, the Texas War for Independence, Juneteenth, annexation of Texas by the United States, and the Christian heritage of this state.”
The legislation, House Bill 2497, will also promote Texas history through pamphlets given to residents when they receive and renew their driver’s licenses, according to the Texas Tribune. Students will also be eligible to receive a Gubernatorial 1836 Award based on their knowledge of Texas history.
Critics of the legislation say it’s a direct attempt to stop the discussion of “critical race theory” in schools.
“1836 marked independence for some, but for others marks a period of slavery and pain and exploitation for many, many people who live there,” Maggie Stern, a youth civic education and engagement coordinator at the Children’s Defense Fund in Texas told the Tribune.
The law will take effect on September 1, 2021.
The debate over critical race theory has grown heated across the country as leftists seek to inject racial issues into classrooms as the overriding force in U.S. history.
In Florida this week, the State Board of Education banned “critical race theory” (CRT) from public school classrooms, adopting new rules it said would shield schoolchildren from curricula that could “distort historical events.”