SBOE Sunset Bill on the Move

UPDATE: The House has postponed consideration of HB 710 until Monday.

Another bill designed to rein in the Texas State Board of Education is moving in the Legislature. State Rep. Patrick Rose’s House Bill 710, which would put the state board under periodic “Sunset review,” is headed to the House floor. The bill, which easily passed the House Public Education Committee on March 26, is on the General State Calendar for Saturday.

Sunset review essentially forces a state agency to justify its existence. From the Sunset Advisory Commission’s Web site:

In 1977, the Texas Legislature created the Sunset Advisory Commission to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies. The 12-member Commission is a legislative body that reviews the policies and programs of more than 150 government agencies every 12 years. The Commission questions the need for each agency, looks for potential duplication of other public services or programs, and considers new and innovative changes to improve each agency’s operations and activities. The Commission seeks public input through hearings on every agency under Sunset review and recommends actions on each agency to the full Legislature. In most cases, agencies under Sunset review are automatically abolished unless legislation is enacted to continue them.

The Sunset review process would give the Legislature the opportunity to decide, after the commission’s recommendation, whether to make any changes to the state board’s authority. If during this session lawmakers don’t strip the board of its authority over curriculum and textbooks, for example, they could do so when the board comes up for Sunset review.

If it passes the House, HB 710 will head to the Senate. Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, is carrying the companion bill, Senate Bill 513.

2 thoughts on “SBOE Sunset Bill on the Move

  1. It seems to me that the appointment of a Sunset Advisory Commission, in fact, IS exactly what it was established to eliminate – i.e., it is a wasteufl duplication and brings inefficiency in government agencies. If Texas, in writing its State Constitution does not provide for the government to be of the people, by the people, and for the people, then we certainly can end up with a few questioning and overriding elected officials decisions according to the reasoning set in place for the Sunset Advisory Commission. You cannot have two bosses. You cannot be responsive to a voting constituency AND a bunch of political appointees with an agenda that does not have to be necessarily in agreement with the voting public. Well DAH!!With the Sunset Commission then being held in account by the Texas legislature, the SBOE is just going to be jerked around buy a bunch of politicians in the Commission and the legislature with the swing going in the direction of whoever has the control of the state House and Senate. Then that gives the SBOE three bosses with the state legislature shadowing the Sunset Commission. How creative are we going to get in adding to the entropy of the universe?

    In the political climate of today, the politicians are going to take care of themselves first and make sure that they get elected or re-elected and “payoff” those that got them there. It does not matter that they have been elected as the servants of the people to serve the people. What matters is that they can serve their own selfish wants and screw the people.

    So rather than having the people speak through elected State Board of Education (SBOE) servants, HB 710 now creates a pit bull watchdog to jump all over the SBOE if they should happen to get out of alignment with the Sunset Advisory Commission’s own political agenda.

    I see the Sunset Advisory Commission for the SBOE to be nothing more than inefficiency and waste at the level of state government in order to promote special interest group political agendas. HB 710 should never have wasted the time and talents of the Texas legislature and our time voicing our NO vote to our elected representatives.