Because of redistricting, all 15 seats on the Texas State Board of Education will be up for grabs in the November 2012 elections. The results of those elections will determine whether the religious right’s corrosive influence over public education will weaken or grow as the board considers what the next generation of public school students in Texas will learn about sex education, social studies, science and other subjects. We plan to publish on TFN Insider candidate announcements for a seat on the SBOE. We will publish announcements in no particular order, and their publication does not constitute any sort of endorsement by TFN. We will redact requests for contributions or mentions of fundraising events from the announcements, but we will provide links to the candidates’ websites (if available).
Steve Salyer, District 5, R-Universal City
(Current District 5 Board Member: Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio)
Judson Independent School District trustee Steve Salyer, R-Universal City, on Sept. 6 announced on his website — votesalyer.com — his intention to run for the SBOE out of District 5.
Four Key Campaign Promises
2. Incorporate technology in our learning process.
3. Ensure that all actions of the State Board of Education are 100% transparent.
4. Respect others and work toward the common good of our children, while not making personal judgments about other opinions and beliefs.
The school children in Texas are the best hope for this great state and we have a primary responsibility to provide a quality education and prepare our young people with the opportunity for their future.
My name is Steve Salyer and I am proud to announce my candidacy as a Republican for the Texas State Board of Education District # 5 today. I deeply care about the direction our state’s educational system is heading. I understand firsthand the current challenges facing our public school system.
I am a Trustee of the Judson ISD in northeast Bexar County. Being on the Judson School Board and having had two children graduate our public school system, I understand both the good things our public school system does and those things that need to be fixed. I have worked hard while on the Judson School Board to increase reading, science and math scores. Even with the worst budget cuts in the history of education funding, I have ensured that teachers stayed in the classroom.
The state needs leadership on education issues and we know a one-size-fits-all mandate approach by the State Board of Education is not going to help our schools.
The State Board of Education is charged with devising policies and setting academic standards for Texas public schools. It also oversees the $24.0 billion Permanent School Fund and selects textbooks for Texas school children.
We look to the State Board of Education to provide leadership on moving the Texas education system into the future. But the current board has become distracted with bitterness and infighting. We must focus on reforms that are best for the 5 million Texas students.
I am running for the State Board of Education to be an advocate for the school children and put the focus where it belongs. The State Board of Education should show leadership in producing an educated, prepared workforce. Texas has produced more jobs than any other state in the past 4 years. The technological jobs of the future will require a technologically educated work force. My first promise when elected will be to produce a plan to develop a technologically educated work force for Texas and a global marketplace.
The Board must also look toward the future as it relates to textbooks and technology. We have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on textbooks in the past 5 years however we are not exploring what the future of textbooks and learning will be. Kids today are digital learners. We need to present information in a way that kids can relate, not tune out and drop out. We need to use technology to improve the way our educators deliver our core curriculum. We have to look at how we use our textbooks, not always hard copy books, but also digital media, to deliver the ever changing information of our world.
My second goal is to incorporate technology in our learning process, not just the delivery of information, but by delivering technology in a way that will teach the use of new and exciting technology as an instructional tool in and of itself. The correct use of technology will also save us hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Furthermore, we need qualified expert advisors in math, science, literature and all other subjects to help determine the content of all our curriculum and textbooks. We need to ensure that all subject matter that goes into our textbooks is not driven by a social or political agenda. The State Board of Education must be accountable to the public in all of their actions. My third promise is to ensure that all actions of the State Board of Education are 100% transparent.
The distraction caused by a divided Board must be put to rest. It is time for leadership on the board and a pledge to work with all of the other 14 members of the board towards a common goal; to provide the best educational tools to the children of Texas that we can afford.
My fourth promise is to respect others opinions and beliefs and to work toward the common good of our children, while not making personal judgments about others opinions and beliefs. We won’t always agree, but we can engage in a respectful dialogue while keeping our focus on a world class education for our kids.
Over the next few months, I will be sharing my thoughts on the greatness of Texas students and my hope for our educational system. I hope you will contact me at 210-834-3755 to learn more about my campaign. I want this campaign to be about the school children of this state and our opportunity to place leadership on the Board who will work for their interests. We will speak the truth and insist on putting integrity back in the political process. My campaign will make my supporters and the voters of Texas State Board of Education District # 5 proud.
I am asking you for your support and your vote!