Defeated Lawmaker Promotes Creationist for Texas Education Commissioner

by Dan Quinn

It’s bad enough that the State Board of Education has become a heavily politicized, dysfunctional embarrassment for Texas. Now religious-righters want control of the Texas Education Agency as well.

State Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, wants Gov. Rick Perry to appoint SBOE member Charlie Garza, R-El Paso, as the state’s education commissioner and head of TEA.

Yes, that’s the same Rep. Christian whose right-wing politics are so extreme that he lost his re-election bid in the Republican primary last month. And yes, that’s the same Garza who has said creationism should be part of the “mix” of what students learn in their science classrooms. He also opposes teaching sex education in public schools even though Texas has one of the highest teen birthrates in the nation. And he goes beyond arguing that scientists still aren’t sure whether human activity is contributing to climate change. No, Garza argues that scientists aren’t sure that climate change is even happening.

But Christian — who infamously but proudly declared in 2011 that Texas legislators were engaged in a “war on birth control” — is telling right-wing activists that Garza would be a great education commissioner:

I am writing you today to introduce you to a candidate for the Texas Education Commissioner appointment, Charlie Garza, and encourage you to let the Governor know that he is the conservative choice!

Gov. Perry will appoint a new commissioner to replace Robert Scott, who is leaving the post this summer.

Garza is seeking re-election to the SBOE District 1 seat he won in 2010.

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Texas Freedom Network

@SIECUS @kmillertfn @TXCapTonight This campaign for medically accurate, comprehensive and inclusive #SexEducation will stretch into next year when the TX State Board of Education is scheduled to make a decision. Find the TFN and SEICUS recs and ways to get involved at: tfn.org/sex-ed #TeachTheTruth pic.twitter.com/eoMv…