The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) is making its rounds in Houston as it continues its Parent Empowerment Tour to give parents the opportunity to express concerns about issues in public school education and their roles in the academic success of students.

The conservative group held sessions in both Pasadena and Katy featuring a panel of  leaders including Rev. Willie Davis, pastor/founder, Mac Gregor Palm Community Baptist Church; Amy Carney, deputy director of BEST, and Stan Kitman, former teacher and parent activist.

TPPF representatives said that education is among several key priorities in the 2023 legislative session, including bills that would expand “school choice” for parents. 

“We are all about parent empowerment. The number one priority is giving power back to the parents,” said Richard Johnson, director of Booker T. Washington Initiative at TPPF. “Education is the Civil Rights Moment of today.”

The organization said the tour “will provide information about top issues such as critical race theory, the proposed Parents Bill of Rights, and what lawmakers can do to improve education in the state of Texas.”

“I believe the people who seem to lack direct involvement into their children’s education is the Black community,” said Davis. “It will help them understand that they have a responsibility to find out what their children are being taught. If parents don’t take a position on determining what their children are learning, then you teach that child anything.”

Similar efforts are being made by Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republicans who are pushing a parental rights agenda to expand families’ access to course curriculum for the upcoming re-election.

“I was one of those moms…busy working…six kids, and I had left all of these things to the bureaucrats and elected officials to pay attention to,” said Carney. “During COVID, everything shut down and I could no longer keep my blinders on. I realized that I have to step up and fight back against the consequences of not paying attention.”

 To follow the upcoming Texas-wide tour visit texaspolicy.com

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...