Abbott Sides With Homeschoolers

Gov appoints Bahorich as chair of SBOE

Donna Bahorich
Donna Bahorich

Greg Abbott's position on homeschooling comes under scrutiny after he appointed Donna Bahorich as the new chair of the State Board of Education.

The former communications manager for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has homeschooled her own three sons, and has been a vocal advocate for the more controversial and right-wing friendly curriculum standards turned out by the board. She even broke with the board when they asked the Legislature to oppose vouchers.

Her positions are so extreme that board vice-chair Thomas Ratliff, who had been expected to run to replace outgoing Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler (see "Lege Races Take Shape," June 19), ruminated that he may stick around to keep an eye on her.

In a statement, Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller wrote, "This appointment almost guarantees that the board will continue to put culture war agendas ahead of educating more than 5 million Texas kids.”

This comes on the heels of Abbott's decision to veto Senate Bill 359, seemingly at the behest of the Texas Home School Coalition. The measure by Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, would allow physicians to detain a patient who voluntarily requested treatment if the physician decides that, due to mental illness, they are a risk to themselves or others. Currently, this requires a court to issue an order of protective custody, making it a legal, not medical issue.

What does that have to do with homeschoolers, you may legitimately ask? The Texas Home School Network actively opposed it, and any other bill that its leadership thinks restricts parents' right to run their children's lives how they see fit.

Abbott's veto comes in spite of support for the bill from the Texas Medical Assocation, which stated that the current law puts hospitals and physicians "in the unenviable position of having to choose between illegally detaining a mentally ill person who a physician believes is a danger to self or others and letting that patient leave."

More State Board of Education
State Board of Education Rejects Racist Mexican-American Textbook
SBOE Rejects Racist Book
Board votes unanimously to dump controversial, error-riddled book

Mary Tuma, Nov. 16, 2016

SBOE Member Wants to “Deny Hispanics” Vote on Racist Mexican-American Textbooks
SBOE Member Wants to “Deny Hispanics” Vote on Racist Mexican-American Textbooks
Education watchdog reveals e-mail exchange after public info request

Mary Tuma, Sept. 21, 2016

More by Richard Whittaker
Laying Down the <i>Lore</i>
Laying Down the Lore
Aaron Mahnke takes smash hit folklore podcast to Amazon

Oct. 15, 2017

DVDanger: <i>Brawl in Cell Block 99</i>
Brawl in Cell Block 99
Vince Vaughn and Udo Kier on being the heavy

Oct. 15, 2017


Greg Abbott, Donna Bahorich, homeschooling, SBOE, State Board of Education

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)