More evidence for how the Texas State Board of Education has become a battleground in the culture wars rather than a body that makes education a priority: a candidate questionnaire from the religious-right group Texas Alliance for Life.
The state board approves curriculum standards and textbooks for public schools. But Texas Alliance for Life doesn’t appear to be interested in any of that. Check out some of the items from the group’s questionnaire for candidates in the May 29 Republican and Democratic primaries:
Do you support or oppose the reversal of the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision, which allows abortion for any reason, even as a method of birth control at all stages of pregnancy, including late term abortions?
Do you support or oppose laws banning assisted suicide?
Do you support or oppose public funding for research that involves embryonic stem cells, which requires the destruction of human embryos?
Do you support of oppose a law prohibiting health insurance coverage of elective abortion?
From a cover letter accompanying the voter guide:
“These issues, in which public policy decisions have enormous significance, are some of the most critical confronting Texas and America.”
None of the 10 questions on the survey has anything to do with the state board’s responsibilities or authority. The questions are all about culture war issues. The questionnaire is designed simply to weed out any candidate who doesn’t buy into the religious right’s political agenda. And that’s a big part of the reason why we have a state board that puts personal and political agendas ahead of giving Texas students an education that prepares them to succeed.