Texas State Board of Education

Austin voters have the option this November to choose between a Fulbright scholarship recipient and English professor, or a man who once compared advocates of evolution science to Nazis and slave traders, to lead their children's future on education. Two Travis County-based seats at the Texas State Board of Education, historically a breeding ground for right-wing extremists, are up this election cycle, featuring Democratic candidates who ran, unsuccessfully, for the respective positions in 2012. Rebecca Bell-Metereau, the aforementioned professor, again hopes to unseat longtime GOP incumbent Ken Mercer in District 5, while Judy Jennings, an education policy expert and former teaching assistant at UT-Austin, is looking to beat the executive director of the Texas FFA Association, Republican Tom Maynard, in District 10. Both women boast extensive teaching and education experience. While Mercer has comfortably worn his right-wing politics on his sleeve since 2007, Maynard is less vocally conservative, even voting for a plan to have university professors fact-check textbooks in 2015, going against most of his Republican colleagues. Keep in mind the districts are expansive (District 5 encompasses 11 Central Texas counties, for example) and in 2012 went solidly Republican. The SBOE is tasked with establishing the state's public school curriculum standards, managing the state's Permanent School Fund, and approving textbooks.

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More Texas State Board of Education
Local Democrats Take Another Shot at Education Board
Local Democrats Take Another Shot at Education Board
Third time's a charm?

Mary Tuma, Sept. 30, 2016

Beside the Point: Absence of Evidence Is Evidence of Ignorance
Beside the Point: Absence of Evidence Is Evidence of Ignorance
A modest call to return to fact-based policy

Mary Tuma, July 24, 2015

More by Mary Tuma
Heidi Group Heave-Hoed
Heidi Group Heave-Hoed
State finally kicks incompetent anti-choice health provider to the curb

Oct. 19, 2018

City Slickers
City Slickers
How the state’s most influential conservative think tank works to undermine our local control

Oct. 12, 2018


Texas State Board of Education, November 2016 Election, Rebecca Bell-Metereau, Ken Mercer, UT-Austin, Texas FFA Association, Tom Maynard, Permanent School Fund

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