Investing in our teachers, students, and neighborhood public schools will continue to be Rhetta’s top priority in Austin and has to be a top priority for the state. In her first legislative session in 2019, Rhetta co-authored House Bill 3, which invested $11 billion in our public education system. She is proud that the legislature maintained this funding during the 2021 legislative session, and she will continue to push for needed funding and resources to make sure our teachers, students, and communities are thriving despite the many challenges they face.
Rhetta also authored, introduced, and passed HB 3435 in my first session to make March 1st Texas Girls in STEM Day to encourage and celebrate women and girls who are interested in or working in STEM.
Rhetta believes we need to increase teacher pay, provide additional training and support for our teachers, and fully fund all day Pre-K. These are all areas where we need improvements and where our spending should be concentrated. We still have much work to do to improve our public education system.
While we have passed some great legislation for public education, there are some laws that Rhetta will continue to fight against. This includes:
- HB 3979 – Also known as the Critical Race Theory Bill, which prohibits a teacher from being compelled to discuss current events without equally portraying both sides as morally good or bad, and it bans the 1619 Project from being taught in Texas schools. This bill also prohibits students from getting extra credit for participating in certain civic activities. Ultimately, HB 3979 whitewashes how history is taught in schools and codifies the continued erasure of communities of color and their stories into law.
- HB 25 – This bill bans transgender kids from playing sports as themselves, forcing athletes to compete in sports based on the “biological sex” assigned to them at birth. This legislation is unnecessary and hurtful, and it brought much unneeded and negative attention to the transgender community when trans kids are already three times more likely to commit suicide and suffer from depression and anxiety.
Rhetta vows to continue fighting for an equitable and just education system that works for all students and teachers.