We have seen over the past year more public interest in the State Board of Education than at any time since Texas Freedom Network’s founding in 1995. As the board has lurched from one “culture war” battle to another, more and more people have stepped forward to demand that the board stop putting politics ahead of the education of Texas schoolchildren.

The time for politics is during elections. So the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund will sponsor a candidate training for anyone interested in running for a seat on the state board or just wanting to know what it takes to run a winning campaign for the board.

The training, which will be nonpartisan and open to candidates from any political party (or none at all), will be held July 22 in Austin. We will announce time and location as well as registration information soon.

Particpants will learn which state board seats are up for election in 2010 as well as information about campaign planning, messaging and funding. Speakers will include experts with years of experience running — and winning — election campaigns.

More info coming soon.… Read More

When it rains, it pours. Last week Don McLeroy failed to win Senate confirmation of his nomination as Texas State Board of Education chairman. Now he's picked up what could be a very stiff challenge to his re-election next year. Paul Burka at Texas Monthly is reporting that Thomas Ratliff, son of former lieutenant governor Bill Ratliff, will challenge McLeroy in the 2010 Republican primary. From Ratliff's press release:…… Read More

It appears that Texas State Board of Education member David Bradley, R-BeaumontBuna, is hoping religious bigotry will help him win re-election. The 12-year incumbent is circulating a flier that suggests his Democratic opponent, Laura Ewing of Friendswood, wants to — pass the smelling salts, please — teach social studies students about Islam. The flier explains that Ewing joined other social studies educators on a trip to Africa and India and asks: “Do you know what the Democrat for State Board of Education supports?” The flier implies that Ewing — that evildoer — was using the trip to help develop a curriculum that includes the study of Islamic history and culture. Actually, she was. The state’s curriculum standards for social studies — passed by the state board shortly after Bradley joined it in 1997 — require that students learn about the world’s major religions and cultures. And the trip, as Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg explains today, was made possible through the support of the state’s Republican governor, Rick Perry. Falkenberg writes:

It’s easy to dismiss Bradley’s campaign handout as dirty campaigning with an unusually bigoted bent. . . . But the campaign piece represents more… Read More

Texas Freedom Network

We can't thank Sonja enough for her six years of service with TFN. Just Texas wouldn't be what it is today without her. While Sonja's absence will be deeply felt, we wish her the best of luck as she begins a new chapter with Whole Women's Health! twitter.com/wearejus…