Barbara Cargill, who chairs the Texas State Board of Education and is running for re-election to her District 8 seat this year, still thinks she is one of a minority of “conservatives” on a state board in which 11 of 15 members are Republicans. And she also wants voters to know that she’s working to protect Texas kids from Planned Parenthood and Muslims.

The Conservative Coalition of Montgomery County (CCMC) this week posted video of a discussion with Cargill at a meeting last February. The group also posted video from a discussion with Cargill’s opponent in the May 29 GOP primary, Linda Ellis. Both candidates are from The Woodlands just north of Houston. (You can watch CCMC videos for Cargill, Ellis and candidates for other elective offices here.)

Cargill got into trouble just days after Gov. Rick Perry appointed her board chair last July, when she suggested that some of her Republican colleagues weren’t Christians and conservative. In her talk before the CCMC in February, Cargill left out the suggestion that five of her Republican colleagues aren’t Christians, but she made clear that she… Read More

In the 1990s, San Antonio businessman James Leininger — the religious right’s sugar daddy in Texas — poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into State Board of Education (SBOE) races. That money helped hard-right social conservatives build a multi-year campaign to take control of the board — and turned subsequent board debates over textbooks and curriculum standards into divisive “culture war” battles that put politics ahead of education. But new campaign finance reports — which cover contributions and expenditures for January 1-April 19 — to the Texas Ethics Commission show that far less money is flowing (so far) into most election contests for all 15 SBOE seats this year. Moreover, Leininger hasn’t contributed any money (so far) to candidates in those races.

In the District 12 Republican primary, Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, R-Dallas, is spending a lot of her own money to win back her old state board seat, which she lost to George Clayton, R-Richardson, in 2010. Miller’s spending tops that of all SBOE candidates, by far. She reported nearly $93,000 in campaign expenditures over the first four months of this year. That’s in addition to the $41,000 she spent in the last six months of… Read More

All Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) seats are up for election this year, but so far there’s not a lot of money flowing into those campaigns. Nearly all SBOE candidates have now filed their July 1, 2011-December 31, 2011, campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Some non-surprises:… Read More

Barbara Cargill, chair of the Texas State Board of Education, wasn't honest with her audience at a candidate forum in Conroe (north of Houston) last night. Speaking at the forum (which was hosted by the Montgomery County Eagle Forum), Cargill claimed that she and other board members didn't push through substantial last-minute changes, over the objections of teachers and curriculum specialists, to new language arts standards the board adopted in 2008. From the Magnolia News: It is "absolutely false" that curriculum changes were snuck into the standards; the SBOE was “bogged down” and it was recommended the board bring in a facilitator to help with the process, which is what happened, Cargill said. Six months later, the curriculum changes were completed, she said. “We listen to our teachers and parents and business leaders,” Cargill said of the SBOE. But objective observers know that's not true. Here's how the Associated Press explained what happened at that notorious final state board meeting on the revised language arts standards in May 2008: The State Board of Education's debate on new English and reading standards took another turn Friday as members approved a never-before-seen version of the lengthy document that materialized less than an hour before the board was to take a final vote. After a terse debate on the new curriculum, the board voted 9-6 in favor of the new version, which will remain in place for the next decade and sets standards for state tests and textbooks, as well as classroom teaching. Experts and teachers have been working on the new curriculum standards for 21/2 years. "I find it's really wild that we can work for three years on a project and then the board is so qualified they can pull it out of their hat overnight," said board member Pat Hardy, a Fort Worth Republican who, like other board members, received the substituted document when it was slipped under her hotel room door less than an hour before their meeting was set to convene Friday morning. Some members of the board prepared the latest version overnight. "I'm appalled by the process that we've taken part in," said board member Bob Craig, a Republican from Lubbock. There's been "no opportunity to review it, no teacher group is involved, not even the (Texas Education Agency) staff was involved or had seen it." 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).

Linda Ellis, District 8, R-The Woodlands (Current District 8 Board Member: Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands)

Educational consultant and retired educator Linda Ellis on Oct. 28 announced on her Facebook page her intention to seek the Republican nomination for the Texas State Board of Education out of District 8, a seat held by current SBOE chair Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, who will seek re-election next year.

Texas Freedom Network

So when we do this again in two years, how about we: - create an online voter registration system - allow college students to use their student IDs to vote. And when we do this one, let's also ... - require polling locations on university campuses #txlege