Social Studies

Few Texas High Schools Fulfill Voter Registration Law

By Stephen Sawchuk — August 08, 2018 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Voting. It’s a core civic value. It’s the theme holding together the Road to Change tour that students from Parkland, Fla., are leading through 30 cities. It has major education implications—as in Missouri, where voters recently rejected a “right to work” law just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court nixed unions’ abilities in right-to-work settings to collect agency fees from nonmembers.

Voting appears to be on everyone’s mind—everyone except Texas high schools’, it seems, which continue to fail to meet state requirements to make voter registration forms available to eligible student voters, according to a new report from the Texas Civil Rights Project.

Its analysis, based on public records requests, details how fewer than a third of Texas high schools requested voter-registration forms in the 2017-18 school year—the first step in fulfilling a law that’s been on the books since 1985 requiring all public and private high schools to supply the applications at least twice a year.

In a few cases, a school district requested the forms on behalf of all its high schools. Assuming it appropriately distributed all those forms, the overall share of compliant high schools rises to just 34 percent.

There are more than 183,000 seniors in Texas high schools, and although some small portion of them are not eligible to vote, that math indicates that’s still a huge number of seniors who aren’t being given this access.

The group says that, rather than requiring overworked school officials to request the forms, the Texas Secretary of State should simply mail them at the beginning of each semester to each high school. It should also track which schools are complying, it said.

The Texas Observer picked up the ball, reporting that in response to the report, the Texas Secretary of State pointed to several efforts the state had made under his watch to increase compliance.

But other lawmakers believe little will happen unless the legislation is updated to require all high schools to offer the forms year-round, the news organization reported.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Social Studies Teachers Rally Against Laws Aimed at Limiting Classroom Discussion of Racism
Some teachers are speaking out against new legislation. But others are holding back, for fear of repercussions.
5 min read
In this Aug. 28, 2021 photo, demonstrators held a rally in Kansas City, Mo. against laws forbidding teaching critical race theory in classrooms.
Demonstrators held a rally in Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday against laws forbidding teaching critical race theory in classrooms.
Photo courtesy of SURJ-KC
Social Studies Opinion Why Do Native People Disappear From Textbooks After the 1890s?
How we teach American history has direct consequences for Native students today, writes a Navajo Technical University professor.
Joshua Ward Jeffery
5 min read
A Native American man sees a vibrant history emerging from a book.
"Tells His Story" by Brent Greenwood for Education Week
Social Studies Explainer Who Decides What History We Teach? An Explainer
Education Week breaks down how politics has long been embedded in this decision, and how new laws may affect the process.
15 min read
Image of books on history.
thomaguery/iStock/Getty
Social Studies Opinion Q&A Collections: Teaching Social Studies
Links to 10 years of posts with commentaries from over 100 social studies educators.
7 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty