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Austin ISD won't respond to request from Texas House on books about racism and sexuality, report says

Republican State Rep. Matt Krause initiated an inquiry into books and their availability at Texas public school districts earlier this week.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin Independent School District (AISD) will not respond to an inquiry from Republican State Rep. Matt Krause on the availability of books about racism and sexuality throughout the school district.

Krause, who represents Fort Worth, initiated an inquiry into books and their availability at Texas public school districts earlier this week. He notified the Texas Education Agency about looking into “Texas school district content” in an Oct. 25 letter obtained by the Tribune.

Austin ISD confirmed to KVUE that it received the letter. A district spokesperson said “a response is not necessary, especially since anyone can search our library” online.

A spokesperson for Round Rock ISD told the Tribune it is taking “significant time to gather the information to reply to this request.”

The letter included a 16-page list of 850 books. Krause asked school districts if the books were in their possession and, if so, how many copies they have and much money they spent on them.

The list includes the 1967 Pulitzer-prize winning novel “The Confessions of Nat Turner” by William Styron and “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, according to the Tribune. Some books center around how to respond to bullying, LGBTQ+ characters and stories of the Black Lives Matter movement.

However, Krause did not specify why he was asking or what being in possession of the books meant.

Krause, chair of the House Committee on General Investigating, told the Tribune he could only comment in limited capacity since it could compromise a potential or pending investigation. The letter said does specify he is targeting books that “make students feel discomfort.”

Read the Tribune’s full report here.

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