AUSTIN—Parents who traveled to the Texas Capitol to testify on parental rights before the House Committee on Public Education were not allowed to begin testifying until after 8:30 pm, following a full day of invited testimony from lobbyists, special interests, and school district staff.

The Public Education Committee, chaired by Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), met Tuesday to address interim charges regarding education, including the direction to:

Identify and examine efforts to ensure that parents have a meaningful role in their children’s education. Recommend necessary changes in both independent school district board and open enrollment charter governing board governance to protect the right of parents to participate in their child’s education. 

Parents and grandparents from around the state continue to wait for the chance to be heard by lawmakers and are becoming increasingly frustrated with the situation. 

Notably, the Committee cut off sign-ups to testify at 1 p.m. due to the number of attendees.

Rhonda Jordan of Waller County called the committee hearing “a dog and pony show.” She explained, “the legislators are listening to administrators of various districts around the state patting themselves on the back and saying how money can be spent. They haven’t heard a word from a parent, or any person who’s truly involved with the child’s education.” 

“We are really fed up with the lawmakers,” said Mary Lowe of the DFW area. “For us to be here on the day of discussion around parents’ rights and education and they don’t even hear from the parents. They bring all the lobbyists.”

“You’re not seeing the representation or the voice of the parents at all,” confirmed Kimberly Motera of Houston.

As parents around the state combat pornographic materials in their children’s libraries, racist ideologies in classrooms, and failing educational standards, the committee—led by a Democrat Chair—tasked with ensuring parental involvement in education continues to hold off parents’ voices in a classic tactic. 

“The committee will deliberately prolong the testimony of the invited speakers because those are people they actually want to hear from,” explained Bonnie Cudlip of the Austin area. “And they delay how much time they take with that, so that the parents and the public who come to testify, have been waiting so long that by the time it’s their turn, most of them have already left.”

“So what I tell parents and Texans, in general, is that if you want to see change, you have to be willing to confront your elected officials face to face,” said Cudlip. “You have to be willing to show up to the Capitol, come to knock on the doors of their offices, and approach them every chance you get, because until we get aggressive enough with them, directly eye to eye, they won’t take the issue seriously because they think they can get away with it.”

Tuesday’s committee hearing was the only meeting scheduled so far for parents to testify publicly on parental rights in the Texas House before the school year begins. 

Concerned citizens can contact their legislators. 

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.