Statement from TFN President Kathy Miller on State Board of Education Primary Results
Split Decision in Primaries on Tuesday Doesn’t Bring Much Real Change to SBOE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 30, 2012
Tuesday’s primary elections don’t seem — at this point — to have shifted the ideological balance of power on the State Board of Education despite the defeat of three incumbents, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller said today. That’s alarming because the state board is scheduled to adopt new science textbooks in 2013 and new social studies textbooks in 2014, and both subjects have been at the center of some of the most divisive and controversial battles among board members.
“I don’t see a trend, ideological or otherwise, in these election results,” Miller said. “Unfortunately, last night’s outcome won’t bring a sea change at the state board. The November elections in a couple of districts could still make a difference in the overall balance of power on the board, but we’ll still have far too many board members who put their own political agendas ahead of the education of Texas kids.”
A “voter guide” published before the election by three Texas-based organizations of social conservative activists Texas Eagle Forum, Heritage Alliance and Liberty Institute gave nine Republicans the highest ratings in their primaries. (The voter guide included no information on the Democratic candidates.) In the voter guide, each of the nine top-rated candidates indicated their skepticism of evolution, opposition to abortion and to comprehensive sex education, and support for displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools. Eight of the nine also disagreed with a statement on government responsibility for education. Four of those candidates won yesterday. Another four, including a former board chair, lost. Another is headed to a runoff.
The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, religious liberties and public education watchdog based in Austin. The organization’s religious and community leaders from across Texas support public education, religious freedom and individual liberties.