Mexican- American studies in Texas - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Mexican- American studies in Texas

Amarillo, TX -- A growing Hispanic population in the State of Texas has many concerned with the recent vote affirming Mexican- American studies as only an option.

Recently in Austin- The majority of the State Board of Education voted to allow school districts-- to have the option of offering Mexican- American studies in their high schools as an elective.

The State Board of Education voted Texas does not have to require Mexican- American studies.

"I believe its something that needs to be taught, it's a heritage a part of Texas and even if you're not half Mexican or Mexican, I think it's a piece of Texas that's a huge part of a learning curve." says Billie Gilliam, Parent.

She's not the only one who feels that way-- Activist have pushed for the Texas State Board of Education to create a statewide Mexican- American studies curriculum-- arguing that such courses would help foster cultural awareness.

In the state of Texas more than half of public school students are Hispanic and a vast majority of those are Mexican- American.

"I don't believe any of us felt like that it isn't an important aspect of what a student should learn but I think the majority of the board, in fact more than the majority decided that the best way to allow those courses to be taught was a local basis." says Marty Rowley, State Board of Education member of District 15.

Which means local school districts can decide if they want to have Mexican- American studies offered as an elective based on what they feel is best for their student population.

History in Texas and the relationship with Mexico and the Mexican- American hero's will not be compromised in history lessons.

"Local school districts decided whether or not they want to focus on particular aspects of that Mexican- American history or particular heroes that they make that decision." says Rowley

Local school districts can also call for textbooks covering African American, Native American and Asian American studies.
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