Schools don’t have to adopt state-approved textbooks

File photo
File photo

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — While the State Board of Education put off their vote on approving social studies textbooks for a couple more days, local school districts are still moving forward with their decision process. A state law in 2011 gave districts the freedom to choose their own instructional material which does not have to come from the state’s approved list. The Round Rock Independent School District is working to replace old history books that are about 13 years old.

“I’m excited for teachers and students to get new material,” said Dottie Hall, RRISD’s textbook coordinator. “It’s time, we need some new ones.”

Since September, various committees of teachers have been busy combing through textbooks and digital materials from multiple publishers.

“We’ll meet again in January and in February we’ll make a decision on our top two choices,” said RRISD Social Studies Curriculum Specialist Tina Melcher.

While they don’t have to choose state-approved books, Melcher said it does help to have their stamp of approval. “It also covers the standards that are to be taught in the classroom.”

Once the committee of teachers pick their top contenders, their Instructional Materials Allotment Committee will recommend one to the school board who will make the final call. The board should vote in March or April, allowing the district to order the new textbooks and get them during the summer so teachers can start preparing for the upcoming school year.

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