Dr. David Upham is Professor of Politics and Director of Legal Studies at the University of Dallas and
Michael Barba is the K-12 Education Policy Director at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, [emphasis added] it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools. (Texas Constitution, Article VII, Section 1)

Under the Texas Constitution, the purpose of our “public free schools” is to diffuse generally that “knowledge” necessary to the “preservation of the liberties and rights of the people.” This “people,” as explained in the Texas Constitution, is a community of free people who, while “humbly invoking the blessings of Almighty God,” and duly subject to the Constitution and perpetual Union of these United States, did “ordain and establish this Constitution of Texas” (Preamble; Article I, Section 1).