The mostly Republican Texas Board of Education agreed in a preliminary vote Tuesday night to keep former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other historical figures in its social studies curriculum.
The agreement is a reversal of the board's September vote to cut Clinton in its effort to streamline the state's academic standards. The 15-member state board spent more than 10 hours of debating which figures would be kept or removed from the state's standard curriculum, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Changes to the textbooks would not take place until it's time for revisions but the decision would affect teaching requirements under state law.
A final vote on the entire curriculum will take place Friday.
Why the reversal?
Some board members, including Democrat Erica Beltran, said they received backlash after the board voted to remove Clinton from history lessons.
"I got a ton of calls and emails about the removal of Hillary Clinton," Beltran said, according to the Morning News. "She was the first female presidential nominee from a major U.S. political party. So regardless of our party affiliations, I think she is an important figure to keep."
Others said they agreed that Clinton is significant even if they don't agree with her politics.
"I have to give credit where credit is due. She is a significant political leader," Republican Marty Rowley said.
In a 12-2 vote, the board agreed to keep Clinton in the state's required learning.
Republicans Pat Hardy of Fort Worth and Geraldine "Tincy" Miller of Dallas voted against keeping Clinton.
Donna Bahorich of Houston, also a Republican, abstained from voting on Clinton.
The board also voted to reverse its earlier decision to remove Helen Keller and Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP, the first American women to fly military aircraft, according to multiple reports.
It did agree to cut Francis Scott Key, who wrote the "Star-Spangled Banner," from first-grade lessons.
Also, Phillis Wheatley, the first published African-American female poet, was cut from the third-grade curriculum.