Tribpedia: State Board Of Education

The Texas State Board of Education is an elected 15-member body that oversees the public education system in Texas. Members run in partisan elections and represent single-member districts for four-year terms. 

The governor appoints one member to lead the board as chair. The chair, like other guberatorial appointees, is confirmed by the Texas Senate.

Every 10 years, board members ...

SBOE Will Vote on Sects Education

The State Board of Education is getting set to vote later this week on a resolution that would call on textbook publishers to avoid a "pro-Islamic, anti-Christian bias" in Texas textbooks. As Nathan Bernier of KUT News reports, the matter may be more about symbolism than practical change.
Don McLeroy, a member of the Texas State Board of Education, at the Texas Tribune offices in October.
Don McLeroy, a member of the Texas State Board of Education, at the Texas Tribune offices in October.

TribBlog: American Grandstand

Members of the State Board of Education’s hard-right wing appear poised to inject themselves into the national fray over Islamic influence in America with a resolution warning textbook publishers that a “pro-Islamic/anti-Christian bias has tainted some past Texas Social Studies textbooks.”

No Pass, No Play: The Back Story

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As chairman of the Select Committee of Public Education in the '80s, Ross Perot took on high school athletics hammer and tongs: “If the people of Texas want Friday night entertainment instead of education," he said, "let’s find out about it." An excerpt from the forthcoming How Things Really Work: Lessons from a Life in Politics.

The New Sex Ed

Students are heading back to school this week, and some of them will begin learning about the birds and the bees. The Texas Education Code requires that abstinence be the focus of any sex education curriculum — but as Nathan Bernier of KUT News reports, there are some changes this year to how sex ed is being taught.
Cynthia Dunbar and Don McLeroy
Cynthia Dunbar and Don McLeroy

TribBlog: In Reversal, SBOE Passes Charter Financing [Updated]

After getting shot down in committee, SBOE member David Bradley, R-Beaumont, and other members succeeded Friday in pushing through a plan to purchase school buildings and lease them back to charter schools in a split vote, with two Democrats absent. The decision, however, is contingent upon a favorable attorney general's opinion on the legality of the controversial move — which would pull money from the Permanent School Fund

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Ramsey's interview with Rick Perry's chief consultant, Stiles on the massive amount of cash that cities are collecting from red-light cameras, Grissom on the coming debate over the Democrats' two-step primary/caucus process, Thevenot on the State Board of Education's latest controversial plan, Aguilar on immigrants deported for minor infractions, Ramshaw on the social conscience (or lack thereof) of medical schools, M. Smith on a nascent voter registration effort in Harris County, Hamilton's interview with the newest state senator, Philpott on Bill White's feistier week, Galbraith on how tighter EPA rules will affect Texas and Hu on questions about the governor's transparency: The best of our best from June 21 to 25, 2010.

State Board of Landlords?

Hoping to tackle the long-standing challenge of financing charter school facilities, the State Board of Education is considering taking on a novel and controversial role: landlord. SBOE member David Bradley, R-Beaumont, wants to use $100 million from the $23 billion Permanent School Fund to buy properties and then lease them back to charter schools, which have historically struggled with capital costs. Critics say the elected board can't possibly fulfill the mandate of the Fund — to invest for maximum return — while at the same time cutting charters a good deal. 

Republican Rick Perry and Democrat Bill White
Republican Rick Perry and Democrat Bill White

The Brief: June 7, 2010

Forecasters pegging a looming state budget shortfall at $18 billion don't have Gov. Rick Perry particularly worried.

A Lousy Grade

More than two-thirds of Texans say their confidence in the state's public schools ranges from shaky to nonexistent, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. A majority of Texans believe that crime, low academic standards, lack of parental involvement and not enough funding are "major" problems that public schools face — but two-thirds say "too much religion in the schools" is not a problem.

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Thevenot on the ideological backbiting at the internationally famous State Board of Education; Stiles, Narioka and Hamilton plumb employee salary data in Texas colleges and universities; Grissom looks at the problem of insufficient indigent defense; Cervantes on the push for "veterans courts" emphasizing treatment and counseling over punishment; Aguilar finds border congressmen asking the governor for a fair break on federal homeland security dollars; M. Smith on another BP rig in the Gulf; Ramshaw reports on nurse practitioners trying to get permission slips from doctors; Hu follows up with lawmakers poking at whistleblower allegations of trouble in the state's workers' compensation regulation; Hamilton stops in on Luke Hayes and his efforts to turn Texas into a political powerhouse for Obama; and Ramsey writes on generation changes at the Capitol and on political pranksters: The best of our best from May 17 to 21, 2010.

Cynthia Dunbar and Don McLeroy
Cynthia Dunbar and Don McLeroy

TribBlog: SBOE's Last Laugh

You know that prayer that before today's State Board of Education meeting, which some found so inappropriate? It was read by arch-conservative Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond — but not written by her. In a gag on her detractors, she lifted the text from U.S. Supreme Court Justice and liberal icon Earl Warren.

Former State Board of Education members Don McLeroy and Cynthia Dunbar at a meeting in March 2010.
Former State Board of Education members Don McLeroy and Cynthia Dunbar at a meeting in March 2010.

TribBlog: Praying for Church and State [Updated]

In a morning prayer to open the State Board of Education meeting, social conservative member Cynthia Dunbar, R-Richmond, mixed worship with a constitutional argument against the separation of church and state — previewing the politically charged debate to come later today, as conservatives tackle their last big agenda item before approving the state social studies standards.

An observer holds a protest sign during testimony at the State Board of Education (SBOE) textbook hearings on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
An observer holds a protest sign during testimony at the State Board of Education (SBOE) textbook hearings on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.

Hussein in the Membrane

A member of the State Board of Education's internationally notorious conservative wing trotted out Barack Obama's middle name late in a marathon meeting Thursday, a fitting end to a debate over social studies curriculum standards that was marked by irritable outbursts and inane dialogue. Members fought over slavery, Jefferson Davis, Joseph McCarthy — even over when they could finally adjourn. 

A boy waves an American flag at an immigration rally held in Dallas on May Day.
A boy waves an American flag at an immigration rally held in Dallas on May Day.

The Brief: May 20, 2010

Calderon and Obama talk immigration and cartels, fun times with the SBOE, Bill White's cheat sheet and the smoking ban that wasn't in San Antonio. 

The SBOE Gets an Earful

Members of the State Board of Education, meeting in Austin this week, are scheduled to take a final vote on new social studies curriculum standards that will remain in place for a decade. Outside the meeting room at the William B. Travis Building, there is no shortage of opinions about the board's work. Nathan Bernier of KUT News reports.

Separation Anxiety

At a public hearing today, the State Board of Education's social conservative bloc is expected to launch attacks on the church-state “wall” as part of hundreds of changes to the social studies curriculum standards, which could provide the outline for tests and textbooks years into the future. The board expects to take a final vote on the entire curriculum on Friday.

A Day at SBOE in 127 Seconds

In which we go to the standing-room only State Board of Education meeting and the many rallies for and against proposed history curriculum standards. The board (and the numerous stakeholders in this debate) argued all week long.

TribBlog: History Paige

Former U.S. Secretary of Education and Houston Superintendent Rod Paige this morning asked the State Board of Education to delay adopting its standards, saying they had “swung too far” to the ideological right and diminished the importance of civil rights and slavery. Asked if the board should delay a final vote expected Friday, he said, "Absolutely."

Cynthia Dunbar and Don McLeroy
Cynthia Dunbar and Don McLeroy

Lame Ducks Unlimited

Four members of the State Board of Education who are exiting their seats in January are preparing to cast decisive votes this week on controversial curriculum revisions that will alter social studies textbooks for 4.7 million public school children in Texas. But, just maybe, not so fast: Two Republicans who'll likely win election to the SBOE this fall, and a Democrat who is vying for another soon-to-be-vacated seat, said in interviews that they'd support reopening the standards process if consensus emerged on the newly constituted board. 

Don McLeroy, a member of the Texas State Board of Education, at the Texas Tribune offices in October.
Don McLeroy, a member of the Texas State Board of Education, at the Texas Tribune offices in October.

TribBlog: The Church Board of Education

When they meet in Austin next week, social conservatives on the State Board of Education — some now lame ducks — may be going even further with amendments challenging the separation of church and state, entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, landmark desegregation cases and the work of muckraking journalists such as Susan B. Anthony and W.E.B. Du Bois. Another amendment amplifies a long-running effort to resuscitate the reputation of communist-hunting Sen. Joseph McCarthy.