Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promised to pass a “parent’s bill of rights” which would ban some LGBT content and possibly defund public schools if he’s re-elected.
The Republican candidate’s bill of rights would also give parents the choice to take their students and state funding to private schools.
“The way the system works in Texas already is that the money follows the students,” the governor said.
“Empowering parents means giving them the choice to take their children to any public school, charter school or private school with state funding following the student. To be clear that does not mean that public schools will be not fully funded. They will.”
Speaking at a campaign event in San Antonio Monday night, Abbott said Texas students must be protected from “obscene content.”
“Educators who provide pornographic material will lose their credentials, forfeit their retirement benefits and be placed on a ‘do not hire list,’” said Abbott.
Abbott is referring to two LGBT books that were removed from Texas public school libraries for what he called “pornographic” and “overtly sexual and pornographic acts” in a 2021 letter to the state board of education.
The governor’s latest proposals for a parental bill of rights are additions to an existing parents’ bill of rights in which he called for Critical Race Theory to be banned in public schools, among other provisions.
At his campaign event Thursday, he signed a pledge to pass the bill of rights into law if he wins re-election. The plan draws a sharp contrast with his opponent.
Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat from El Paso, tweeted that Abbott’s plan would defund public schools.
“I’m for fully funding our kids’ classrooms and fully supporting parents, teachers, and students,” O’Rourke said in the tweet.
O’Rourke spent Mother’s Day visiting the family of an LGBT youth whose parents are being investigated by the state of Texas for child abuse at Abbott’s direction.
In February, Abbott said parents providing “puberty blockers” or medical procedures that help their children transition would be investigated for child abuse.
O’Rourke visited the Briggles in Denton (north of Dallas), cooked them a Mother’s Day meal and even shared a beer with them, the family tweeted.