Controversial sex education teachings are on the agenda next week at the Texas agency charged with setting public school curriculum standards, giving citizens one more chance to weigh in.

State Board of Education members are meeting the week of November 17 to hold public hearings, consider amendments, and vote on final adoption of revised public education standards—known as Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)—for science, physical education, and health education.

In September, the SBOE gave preliminary approval to proposed new health standards after citizens turned out to testify for and against adding controversial “comprehensive sex education” to the statewide health curriculum taught to public school kids. The current health TEKS were adopted in 1998.

The board voted 9-6 against inserting highly sexualized “LGBTQ+” and pro-abortion material into the revised standards. Leftist advocacy groups pushed for the radical revisions, calling it a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to change course.”

Parents urged the board to keep the standards focused on abstinence and risk avoidance, cautioning that the changes would undermine local control.

State law says human sexuality instruction is an optional component of health education in Texas school districts. If human sexuality is taught, course materials must emphasize abstinence. Districts may choose “abstinence plus,” which educates about but doesn’t promote contraception. Otherwise, school districts exercise local control to determine the content of their sex-ed instruction (if any).

Texans have several opportunities to weigh in on the final standards.

Proposed standards and public comment forms are on the Texas Education Agency website, along with meeting agendas and a link to the livestream.

Those who want to testify during the meeting must sign up between 8:00 a.m. Thursday, November 12, and 5:00 p.m. Friday, November 13. Public testimony will be given virtually. Details are available online or by calling (512) 463-9007.

Citizens can also share comments and concerns directly with their elected board representative; contact information can be found here.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.