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TEA releases new policy on books that can be read in school

The policy is meant to guide school boards at the create their own policies for district libraries.

SAN ANTONIO — The Texas Education Agency has now released a new policy on books that can be read in school libraries. 

The TEA commissioner sent a letter to Governor Abbott on Monday --- this comes after Abbott sent his own letter to the agency to address obscene content in books

The TEA says they've worked with the Texas State Library Archives Commission and the head of the State Board of Education to develop these guidelines. It provides criteria for the selection, removal and replacement of books and it's meant to be transparent while also meeting kids' instructional needs.

The policy is also meant to guide school boards as they create their own policies for district libraries—claiming to give local control, but the guidelines themselves appear to be broad. They include:

  • The books should provide support and/or enrich the students' interests and learning
  • Meet artistic, literary or aesthetic standards, 
  • Be appropriate for the child's age

Recommendations for getting more books into libraries should involve administrators, teachers, parents and members of the community. When books are chosen, the list should be sent to the superintendent and the board.

Parents can also challenge books in the library for their appropriateness and the policy outlines the process for a parent complaint.

In the letter Commissioner of Education Mike Morath writes, "There have been several instances recently of inappropriate materials being found in school libraries. This is unacceptable and the students of Texas should not be exposed to this harmful content in their local schools." 

The model will be provided to all school systems in the state.

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