New campaign finance reports show that one of the most prominent members of the Texas State Board of Education‘s far-right faction is being heavily outspent in his bid for re-election to the board seat he has held since 1996.

District 7 incumbent David Bradley, R-Beaumont Buna, reported spending just under $15,000 in the period from April 19 to May 20, according to his latest campaign finance report, which was due to the Texas Ethics Commission on Monday. He reported getting about $2,300 in contributions and a $500 loan he made to his campaign, but he had just $7.20 left in his campaign account.

Bradley’s opponent in the May 29 GOP primary, Rita Ashley of Beaumont, reported spending more than $48,000 over the same period. She got nearly $8,000 in contributions. More significantly, however, Ashley loaned her campaign $43,000 and had more than $23,000 left in her campaign account.

In campaign finance reports for the period of January 1 to April 19, Ashley also outspent Bradley almost 3-1 — $36,194 compared to $13,294. Although Ashely loaned her campaign $10,500 during that period, she also edged Bradley in campaign contributions, nearly $24,000 to about $21,500.

Still, Bradley likely has an… Read More

Burnt Orange Report, an Austin-based blog about Texas politics, has a piece up about two State Board of Education candidates and the recent controversial history of that board. Check it out here.Read More

At least 10 out of 27 Republicans seeking election to the State Board of Education (SBOE), which oversees public education across Texas, say they don’t agree that “it is the government’s responsibility to be sure children are properly educated.” Of 13 Republicans responding to a candidate survey sent out by a collection of religious-right groups, three said they “disagree” with that statement, while another seven said they “strongly disagree.”

Eight Republican candidates in the May 29 SBOE primaries didn’t respond to the survey. Six candidates who are unopposed in their GOP primaries did not get the questionnaire. Just three Republicans affirmed the importance of public education in Texas. The religious-right groups that sponsored the survey (all of which are nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations) didn’t question Democratic candidates.

Here’s what Article 7 of the Texas Constitution says about government’s role in education (emphasis added):

“A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”

The candidate survey was… Read More

With the start of early voting for the May 29 Republican and Democratic primaries, Texans can begin the process of electing a State Board of Education (SBOE) that puts kids ahead of politics and personal agendas.

Because of redistricting, all 15 seats on the board are up for election this year. That means your vote will help shape public education in Texas for a generation.

Why is this important? In recent years politicians on the Texas SBOE have:

Censored what students will learn in their history classes Rejected established science Ignored the recommendations of teachers and respected scholars

So visit the TFN Education Fund’s SBOE campaign webpage to find the resources you need to help you make an informed decision. And go to to find a polling location and much more information on the May 14-25 early voting period.… Read More

One of the Republican candidates for the Texas State Board of Education District 15 seat, Marty Rowley of Amarillo, is offering one of his clearest arguments for teaching “intelligent design”/creationism in science classrooms. Rowley talked to the Amarillo Globe-News for a story about next year’s scheduled adoption of science textbooks by the state board:

“Evolutionists would say that we progressed to this point through a series of unplanned, random circumstances and random events. I don’t believe that tells the whole story. I think there is more to our creation that indicates an intelligent being that has played a significant role.”

Rowley goes on to argue that science students should learn “competing theories” and what he considers the flaws of evolution.

Rowley’s opponent in the GOP primary, Amarillo school board president Anette Carlisle, told the newspaper that the science standards should be based on the recommendations of teachers, scientists and other experts. She also worries that teaching about religious beliefs in the classroom will be divisive:

“We have multiple belief systems in our student population, and we have to be respectful of that and not try to force any one person’s belief system on other students.”

In… Read More