Thanks to the Texas LULAC Education Committee—of which I am a member— along with Velma Ybarra, René Martinez, and State Director Rudy Rosales, Jr., for getting the word out on House Bill 1504—together with the NACCS Tejas Foco—in support of Mexican American and African American Studies, and Ethnic Studies, generally. Really, all of us in education should consider supporting this bill.
Given the point at which we are in the legislative session when everything is either getting rushed or on hold, here is what you can urge everyone in your networks to do immediately:
I. UTRGV Professor and NACCS Tejas Foco Chair, Dr. Christopher Carmona, is asking for letters of support for House Bill 1504 from organizations, individuals, and/or all stakeholders to be emailed to him by Friday, April 30th at midnight at email@example.com
--When writing your letters, please include these four talking points in your letters.
- Discuss the impact and success of Ethnic Studies Programs around the country.
- This bill will not require any funding if it passes.
- This bill only offers a substitution of Ethnic Studies courses for World Geography or World History when such a course, or courses, are available. This bill does not make Ethnic Studies a requirement for high school graduation. It’s optional.
- These courses will count toward graduation and help with college preparedness and success.
For ease, feel free to utilize the template that Tony Diaz and Texas Sized History created where it reads “Click here for a link to a template.” The link allows you to download a letter of support where you can sign the document, noting the particulars of your organization, after which you can email to Dr. Carmona.
II. Please contact school districts and organizations to lend a hand in support of HB 1504 and sharing with them this blog. Everyone should also be reaching out to whoever represent them in the legislature throughout. If you don't know who represents you, go to this "Who Represents Me" link to find out. It only takes a minute!
Check out this opinion-editorial by Rep. Christina Morales (D-Houston) to learn about the incredible champion for this bill that we are so fortunate to have in the legislature.
Time is of the essence. Our goal is for HB 1504 is to get a hearing on the House Floor. You can read the actual bill here.
Thank you so much for your attention to this matter.
Sí se puede! Yes we can!
Angela Valenzuela, Ph.D.
Texas LULAC Education Committee Member
NACCS Tejas Foco Member
Convener, Nuestro Grupo / Academia Cuauhtli