The Texas House has now passed House Bill 2497, a bill authored by State Rep. Tan Parker (R–Flower Mound), to establish the “1836 Project,” which would ensure Texas children receive a “patriotic education.”

The legislation would establish a nine-person committee, with three each being appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor, and House speaker. The committee’s task would be to guarantee children are taught a beginning-to-end narrative of Texas history, with an emphasis placed on Texas civics, particularly our founders and the founding documents. 

The committee would also be tasked with advising state agencies on pursuing patriotic, pro-Texas education at Texas parks, monuments, and battlefields, as well as advising the governor (who appoints three members) on how our founding principles enrich Texan’s lives.

The bill passed on a vote of 124-19.

When the bill was heard in the House, Parker explained that he filed it “with the goal of increasing civic education,” referencing Gov. Greg Abbott’s endorsement of the bill for similar reasons. 

Several amendments were added to the bill, two of which were added by State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City). 

Slaton’s first amendment was to ensure the 1836 Project emphasized Texas’s Christian influence, and the second was to show how the keeping and bearing of arms has impacted Texan heritage and has a strong role in maintaining a free society. 

State Rep. Chris Turner (D–Grand Prairie) added his own amendment to ensure the 1836 Project included references to former Presidents Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush and their influence on voting rights. Parker agreed with all amendments, and the bill passed quickly.

The bill will now be sent to the Senate.

Joshua Pierce

Joshua Pierce is originally from the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, a graduate of University of Dallas, Honor Roll student, and an Eagle Scout. An activist from a young age with a history of backing Conservatives, he is a Spring 2021 Fellow for Texas Scorecard, and is glad to help hold the Texas political establishment accountable.