Update: Video added.
By Terry Lehmann
January 6th was an interesting night as the candidates for State Board of Education participated in a candidate forum at the 912 Meeting in Fort Worth. It was a very informative forum because the questions were not prescreened and follow up questions were allowed.
The candidates for office are Eric Mahroum, Pat Hardy, and Lady Theresa Thomes. Their opening statements told us a lot about the candidates. Eric Mahroum stressed his desire to bring our schools to higher levels so that parents would not feel the need to pull their kids out of public school and put them in private schools. Pat Hardy stressed that public schools are fine and doing well. Lady Theresa Thomes used her opening statement to attack the other candidates with allegations of wrong doing.
by Rena Peden
Thursday, March 24, was SREC Legislative day in Austin. We spent the day visiting with our local legislators, Speaker Joe Straus, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, and attending redistricting meetings. They all gave generously of their time spending forty-five minutes to two hours each with us. They all assured us our issues will move through the legislature as promised. The “rainy day” fund will be used to meet the current shortfall but will not be used to balance next year’s budget. They have also asked that we let our legislators know that we support their actions especially when it comes to the budget and redistricting. The special interest groups are constantly marching! We met with Senator Kel Seliger, SD 31, who is Chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee. We do know that the population in Texas has sifted. People have left the rural west for areas in the metroplex. This means those in the west will have to look to the east to gain population. There is some potential that Senator Estes’ district could see some minor changes but we won’t know until the maps are drawn. The House hearing regarding Congressional Districts will be held on April 7th at 9am in Room E1.004 at the Capitol in Austin. For those interested, redistricting maps are available at http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us.
by Donna Garner
The Travis County Public Integrity Unit just issued a statement on 3.14.11 (posted further on down the page) that clears Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) member, Thomas Ratliff, of conflict of interest allegations. Supported by liberal organizations and the liberal news media, Ratliff thinks he has circumvented the Rule of Law. However, he is wrong.
The chair of the SBOE, Gail Lowe, at the request of Texas citizen, Pat Carlson of Texas Eagle Forum, sent a letter to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on 3.2.11 asking him to clarify the conflict of interest problem that Ratliff has since he is a millionaire lobbyist who has had long-standing business dealings with Microsoft and at least two Institutional Private Equity Money Management firms that do business with the Texas State Board of Education and the Texas Education Agency.
As many of you know, I am temporarily living in Austin in order to serve as a full-time volunteer lobbyist for Texas Eagle Forum, a pro-family organization (www.texaseagle.org), during the Texas Legislative Session.
The Session convened on January 11th and will adjourn on May 31st.
Because many of the bills filed will include a cost to the taxpayer, I thought you would like to see the attached booklet, just published by the Texas Education Agency.
This “Pocket Edition” of Texas Public School Statistics is jam-packed with at-a-glance information that should be of interest to every taxpayer, as well as public and charter school parent in Texas. Continue reading →
This balanced op-ed by a University of Dallas professor in today’s Wall Street Journal rejects many of the unfounded criticisms of the curriculum changes adopted recently by the State Board of Education. His conclusion: “Is the board’s more conservative and overtly patriotic reading of history the best one? That’s a matter of legitimate disagreement. Yet there is no evidence to support the charge that this imperfect curriculum amounts to educational malpractice.” Bottom line, there has been much misstatement of fact (primarily by various liberal special interest groups) regarding the SBOE’s actions:
from LIBERTY INSTITUTE
SBOE to Adopt New Social Studies Standards
Starting tomorrow, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) takes up the adoption of new social studies standards for public schools – guidelines that will impact students around the country from kindergarten to 12th grade for the next ten years.
The controversy over the new requirements involves the impact and role of religion in America (including Christmas), the Founding Fathers, judicial activism v. judicial restraint, the greatness of America and the exclusion or inclusion of significant persons in U.S. history including Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Daniel Boone and more.
Liberty Institute will testify at the hearings. Tomorrow we will host a press conference from the Texas Education Agency building where we, along with parents, teachers and other concerned citizens will draw a line in the sand on how Texas should teach history.
We are also on Fox and Friends tomorrow and Thursday mornings.
STAY ON TOP OF THIS ISSUE!
We will blog from the hearings, so visit our Texas Legislative Update blog Wednesday through Friday!