Campaign finance reports due 30 days before the November 6 election make it clear that, once again, Texas State Board of Education elections are attracting little money. The 15-member board adopts curriculum standards and textbooks for Texas public schools, but it gets precious little attention during election seasons.

We have listed (below) campaign finance information reported by Republican and Democratic candidates in districts where both major parties have candidates on the November ballot. (Most Libertarian and Green candidates on the November ballot for state board races either have filed no reports or reported no contributions or expenditures. A full list of candidates is available at Rebecca Bell-Metereau, D-San Marcos, has raised about $33,000 in the period from late July to the end of September. Marty Rowley, R-Amarillo, is the only other candidate to have raised more than $10,000 during the same period. Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas, reported nearly $120,000 in expenditures for the period, but nearly all of that came out of her own purse.

Note that each state board district has  more than twice the population of a state Senate or U.S. House district. How far will the less than $4,000 raised by Republican… Read More

Many of you have been waiting and asking us for it, and here it is. Today the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund released our 2012 State Board of Education Voter Guide for the Nov. 6 general election. All 15 SBOE seats will be on the ballot.

You can find the voter guide at, and you can download a printable version of the guide here (PDF file).

This guide is based on a survey sent to all 35 SBOE candidates in August. As is their right, some candidates declined to respond. But 19 candidates did provide answers to 11 questions that were divided into two sections: education issues in one and board authority and process in the other. In all, we received responses from at least one candidate in each SBOE district with the exception of District 11.

The questions covered topics such as:

The study of evolution and climate change in science classrooms The role of separation of church and state in America The history of slavery and the struggles for civil and equal rights

The candidates were then given the opportunity to provide written explanations to their answers.

We encourage everyone to… Read More

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).

Dorothy Olmos, District 4, R-Houston (Current District 4 Board Member: Lawrence Allen, D-Fresno)

Dorothy Olmos is running as the Republican candidate for the SBOE in District 4. According to her website, Olmos owns a small business and is a native of Houston.

As a native Houstonian of 51 yrs. in the East End Magnolia Park, near the turning basin of the Ship Channel, a business owner, a mother… Read More

by Jose Medina

Texas State Board of Education District 12 member George Clayton has changed course and decided against a write-in bid to retain his seat on the board, he told TFN.

Clayton, R-Richardson, finished third in his party’s primary on May 29. Last month, in an email to far-right activist Donna Garner, Clayton said he planned to run as a write-in candidate.

But in a subsequent email received by TFN Thursday, Clayton says he has made a “pragmatic” decision, and he “will not be a write in candidate for the district 12 spot.”

Clayton’s decision means we will see at least seven new faces on the 15-member board following the November general elections.

Clayton was first elected in 2010 but was up for re-election along with all of his colleagues this year because of redistricting. Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, whom Clayton ousted in 2010, is trying to return to the board after winning the July 31 runoff election against Gail Spurlock.

Miller will face Democrat Lois Parrott in November.… Read More

The 2012 Texas State Board of Education primary races have now been resolved, but the overall ideological balance of the board did not see a major shift following the May 29 primary, nor did it do so after last night’s primary runoff in three SBOE districts.

In a press statement last night, TFN Deputy Communications Director Jose Medina, summed it up this way:

“Texas deserves a State Board of Education that has, as its first priority, the education of children and not the divisive ideological battles of the recent past. We’ll have to wait until November to see if voters have had enough of board members who put their own political agendas ahead of education.”

Bottom line: the kind of board we get next January will be decided in the November general elections.

To recap, the slate of nine primary candidates identified by the religious right earlier this spring saw mixed results: four victories (only one by a new face — the rest were victories by incumbents) and five losses. It appears that the anti-establishment, Tea Party wave that likely propelled former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz to victory in the… Read More