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A Republican state representative, running for attorney general, wants to know if Texas public schools have any of the 850 books he says could “make students feel discomfort” in their libraries.

The book’s subjects range from sexuality and gender to racism. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, who chairs the state’s House Committee on General Investigating, also wants to know how much money was spent on the books and how many copies are available to students, according to a public letter sent to Texas Education Agency Deputy Commissioner of School Programs Lily Laux, and Texas superintendents. 

“Recently, a number of Texas school districts around the state, including Carroll ISD , Spring Branch ISD , Lake Travis ISD, Leander ISD and Katy ISD, have removed books from libraries and/or classrooms after receiving objections from students, parents and taxpayers,” Krause said. “In accordance with the committee’s jurisdiction and my authority as chairman, I am initiating an inquiry into Texas school district content and request preliminary information.”

El Campo ISD Superintendent Bob Callaghan has yet to receive any sort of correspondence regarding the list of books, As of press time.

“I have not received anything from State Rep Krause or any other member of the House,” Callaghan said. “If and when I do receive something, we will evaluate his request and determine our response.”

Louise Superintendent Garth Oliver was unavailable for comment.

It is unclear if any ECISD or LISD schools have any of the books on the list or if the state represantative has the authority to request this information.

Some of the books included on the list are Real talk about sex & consent: what every teen needs to know by Cheryl M. Bradshaw, She, he, they, them: understanding gender identity by Rebecca Stanborough and The New Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness by Michelle Alexander.

Callaghan did not know of the request by Krause and has yet to look for the list of books in ECISD libraries.

The House Committee on General Investigating has a broad mandate to inquire into anything involving state government on any matter they deem necessary for the welfare and protection of state citizens. 

The Committee also says it can “inspect the records, documents and files and may examine the duties, responsibilities, and activities of each state department, agency and officer and of each municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state,” according to Sec. 13 of the Texas Legislature jurisdiction rules.

Texas schools have until Nov. 12 to submit a written response via email, per a request by Krause.

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