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Texas Democrats Rally Against Far-Right SBOE at Convention

The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is facing a shift towards far-right ideologies, raising concerns about the future of educational content and its implications for students across the state and the nation.

During a dynamic panel held by Texas Freedom Network at the Texas Democratic Convention, candidates and advocates gathered to discuss the importance of flipping seats in the SBOE races.

With a Republican majority dominating the board for the past decade, decisions have often reflected partisan interests rather than the diverse needs of Texas students.

“A lot of these people (the current SBOE) ran on anti-CRT platforms, they ran as conservative Christians wokeness in our public schools,” said a spokesperson for TFN.

“They said that we were, a lot of us were grooming children or showing kids pornography in their schools. They created an echo chamber that essentially helped them flip those seats, or not flip the seats, but get hold of those seats.”

The composition of the current SBOE reflects a further shift towards conservative ideologies, exemplified by individuals like Aaron Kinsey, who was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

In 2021, Aaron Kinsey was elected to the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) on an anti-CRT, anti-woke platform, with substantial support from conservative donors Tim Dunn and pro-voucher PACs. Since Kinsey’s appointment as chair, the board has shifted further to the right, evidenced by significant actions such as divesting over $8.5 billion in public school funding and rejecting a bipartisan effort to advance an American Indian Native Studies course.

He aligns himself with the broader agenda of conservative figures like Tim Dunn and Farris Wilks, who aim to promote school choice and continue divesting from public education across the state.

During the panel, the main focus was to understand the importance of flipping seats in the SBOE. Many Texans don’t know that they play a crucial role in shaping public education in Texas. It establishes curriculum standards that outline what students are expected to learn at each grade level and in each subject area. These standards serve as guidelines for educators and influence the teaching materials used throughout the academic year.

Once the SBOE approves these curriculum standards, they move on to adopt textbooks that align with them. But the established curriculum doesn’t stop in Texas, it goes on to influence national educational materials thanks to the state’s large textbook market.

​​“Whatever Texas adopts the rest of the nation does, so if one book is adapted by the State Board of Education the publishers align with that content in the rest of the nation,” said TFN. 
Hoping to win for State Board of Education District 11, Democratic Candidate Rayna Glasser believes that Texas’ needs “more diverse perspectives in our curriculum, also centering critical thinking and teachers’ voices. I think we need to have more teachers in the State Board of Education.”

This discussion shed light on how decisions made in Texas reverberate across the nation, impacting what students learn and how educational content is shaped by political agendas.

Jovanka Palacios
Jovanka Palacios
Jovanka Palacios, a Mexican-American Politics Reporter and Managing Editor at RA's Gun Violence Watch, unveils the Capitol's inner workings. Focused on Public Education and Gun Policies, she passionately advocates for informed dialogue, delivering concise, impactful insights into the intricate political landscape.


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