Due to some boring political machinations or something, all fifteen seats on Texas’ infamous State Board of Education are up for grabs this year. The SBOE has gone out of its way to embarrass itself, and by extension all Texans, in recent years. Some of the people who want those seats might even be able to find a way to make it worse.
For one thing, many of the Republicans who want seats on the SBOE have all but admitted that they wouldn’t actually do anything if elected:
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.
Maybe “doing nothing” is not the best way to describe it. Doing nothing would be infinitely preferable to what the SBOE has done in recent years.
Another reason to care about this election is because the hijinks of the SBOE has given the Brits just cause to mock us:
Don McLeroy, chairman of the Texas State Board of Education from 2007 to 2009, is a “young earth” creationist. He believes the earth is 6,000 years old, that human beings walked with dinosaurs, and that Noah’s Ark had a unique, multi-level construction that allowed it to house every species of animal, including the dinosaurs.
He has a right to his beliefs, but it’s his views on history that are problematic. McLeroy is part of a large and powerful movement determined to impose a thoroughly distorted, ultra-partisan, Christian nationalist version of US history on America’s public school students. And he has scored stunning successes.
Seriously, what are these people thinking?