Texas School Board Elections Heating Up

The Texas State Board of Education has been a grand source of entertainment in prior years, and wild things may be happening there again. In the San Antonio Express-News of San Antonio, Texas we found this juicy headline: Multiple candidates vying in State Board of Education district representing San Antonio, and they have a comments feature. Here are some excerpts from the news story, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Three Republicans and two Democrats are running in primary elections for the open District 5 seat on the State Board of Education, a 15-member panel that makes crucial and often controversial decisions on what gets taught at public schools. Ken Mercer of San Antonio, a conservative Republican, is not seeking reelection after holding the seat for 14 years.

Mercer? That’s a name we remember from the first year of this humble blog — see Texas Creationism: Meet Ken Mercer. The Express-News tells us more about him:

The board defines curriculum standards for the public schools, and its debates sometimes track national culture war issues along party lines. The District 5 candidates’ positions this year generally reflect that division. Mercer himself has said he doubts the existence of climate change, favors teaching creationism and believes the U.S. Constitution does not provide for separation of church and state.

Ah yes, that’s the guy, and candidates are scrambling to take his place. The newspaper says:

Early voting begins Feb. 18 for the March 3 primaries. The winners in each party will face each other in the Nov. 3 general election.

[…]

Mercer has endorsed Lani Popp, 60, a Republican candidate who works for the Northside Independent School District as a speech pathologist. [Popp is the one to watch!] Also seeking the GOP nomination is Inga Cotton, 43, founder and executive director of San Antonio Charter Moms, and Robert Morrow, 55, a self-employed investor considered an extremist provocateur who nevertheless briefly led the Travis County Republican Party.

As you might have expected, Popp isn’t the only creationist in the race. We’re told:

Popp and Cotton said evolution, creationism and intelligent design should all be allowed in the science curriculum [Yeah, let it all in!] Popp said she personally believes in creationism. “There’s some flaws in evolution,” she said. “I think it would be smart to present that, too. …It’s not irrefutable.”

Not much doubt about Popp. Now the newspaper tells us about some of the others:

Cotton said students should be taught evolution because genetics and medical science are based on it. “If a school wants to supplement that and teach creationism in addition to that, I think that’s part of that school expressing their culture,” Cotton said.

Then the newspaper discusses the candidates’ views on sex education and charter schools. After that they discuss the Democrat primary candidates. None of those subjects interests us like creationism does, so this is where we leave the San Antonio Express-News. Things may get interesting again in Texas. We shall see.

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6 responses to “Texas School Board Elections Heating Up

  1. Theodore Lawry

    Who needs “genetics and medical science” when you can have “school culture?”

  2. Rebecca Bell-Metereau is the right candidate for the SBOE. I’ve supported all four of her campaigns to unseat Ken “Cat-Dog” Mercer, and each time she has gotten closer. Rebecca suffers from some real disadvantages running for the SBOE in Texas: she’s bright, articulate, sensible, well-educated, intelligent and experienced.

    If you don’t recall, Cat-Dog Mercer got his nickname following an interview where he dismissed the “so-called theory of evolution” because nobody had ever seen a cat give birth to a dog. But this is the same state board that had Don “Noah’s Ark” McLeroy and other full-blown, Hurlbutt crazy board members.

  3. I remember Cat-Dog Mercer. Those were the glory days of The Controversy. But things have really been quiet the last few years.

  4. Formely Holding The Line In Florida

    @ SC “But things have really been quiet the last few years.”
    Private, “Hey Sarge, It is quiet out there,” Sarge, grimly says, “Yeah quiet, too quiet! Don’t like it.”

  5. Michael Fugate

    Anyone advocating for charter schools is either seriously misinformed or a huckster hoping to make a fast buck. Much more dangerous than anti-vaxxer moms. I see Cotton has been interviewed by the anti-education Thomas Fordham think tank. What a dupe. Not as bad as the socially conservative anti-union teachers who naively sold out their colleagues thinking that the people fawning over them cared about their issues – rather exploiting them to make money from public education by privatizing it. I did see DeVos is the most despised of all Trump appointees so maybe there is hope.

  6. My bet is that texastan will elect those that are totally incompetent as so many are all for a theocracy and teaching st00pid. And do I hope I’m wrong!