AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) —— Monday, Governor Greg Abbott signed a law establishing the 1836 Project, a project that seeks to raise awareness about key events in the state’s history.
Rep. Tan Parker filed the bill just before the state’s independence day and it is named in commemoration of the year Texas gained its independence from Mexico.
Rep. Parker said it would establish a nine-member committee to “increase awareness of the Texas values that continue to stimulate boundless prosperity across this state.”
Earlier this year, the state passed a bill that would ban the teaching of the 1619 Project which examines U.S. history from the date when enslaved people first arrived on American soil, marking that year as the country’s foundational date.
Rep. Parker said that this new project is unrelated to either the 1619 Project or the 1776 Commission pitched by former President Donald Trump which called for a “pro-American curriculum.”
Right now, the project would only be taught at state parks, museums, and landmarks, but one local teacher is joining many across the state who are worried that this could make its way into the class.
“It really important for students and educators to know that the Texas that we have today started well before 1836. Texas has a rich history with many positive things, but also many negative things that have to lead to our society now,” said Amarillo Education Association President Aaron Phillips.
Amarillo Independent School District told us in an email it was, ‘too early to say, if or how it will affect curriculum at the district until they learn more from the TEA.’
House lawmakers passed the bill by a margin of 124 to 19.
Other amendments in the bill include raising awareness of the state’s Christian heritage and its traditions of owning guns as well as acknowledging the Texas origins of the annual Juneteenth holiday.
The committee would release other reports, on the Texas Education Agency’s website.