Textbook vote expected Friday from State Board of Education

Texas Board of Education member Donna Bahorich speaks during a meeting, Friday, July 18, 2014, in Austin, Texas. The board voted unanimously to allow its members to take privately-funded trips to such schools in other states, which critics say would lead to "junkets" and conflicts of interest. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A big vote from the State Board of Education is expected Friday on what history and social studies textbooks students in K-12th grade will learn from next school year. The board postponed their vote on Tuesday to allow textbook manufacturers to make some changes to factual errors found in the textbooks being considered.

Still, some critics say that’s not enough because of how some of these books depict history. The Republican controlled board is considering around 100 books and e-books. But for months academics and activists have said they are concerned some are too sympathetic to Islam while others exaggerate the importance of Moses on the formation of American democracy. In order for Texas’ 5-million public school students to get their textbooks by next fall the board must approve their textbook list by Friday.

A board member said earlier this week they are doing the best they can with the information they have.

“We have a very transparent process that allows people to come voice their concerns. Have to understand we’ve been given a narrow scope of authority from the legislature as far as what we can do, whether we can reject a textbook,” said Tom Maynard, Board Member, District 10.

This textbook selection is not only a big deal forTexans but nationally because typically what textbooks the board selects influences the books other states use as well.  The board hasn’t selected new books since 2002.

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