UPDATE – 4:45 p.m.
In something of a surprise, state board members revised their operating rules to require that amendments to proposed curriculum standards be filed by 5 p.m. the day before final adoption of the standards. Similar proposals failed twice over the past two years. We’ll have an update on the significance of this and other action at the state board shortly.
UPDATE – 4 p.m.
Officers have been elected. Dist. 9 member Thomas Ratliff, R-Mt. Pleasant, was elected vice chair and Dist. 13 member Mavis Knight, D-Dallas, was named board secretary. Right-wing activists had campaigned against Ratliff as vice chair and were throwing their support behind Dist. 5 member Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio.
UPDATE – 11:30 a.m.
Here are the SBOE member terms drawn this morning:
Dist. 1, Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso) – 4 years
Dist. 2, Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville) – 2 years
Dist. 3, Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) – 2 years
Dist. 4, Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno) – 2 years
Dist. 5, Ken Mercer (R-San Antonio) – 4 years
Dist. 6, Donna Bahorich (R-Houston) – 4 years
Dist. 7, David Bradley (R-Beaumont) – 2 years
Dist. 8, Barbara Cargill (R-The Woodlands) – 4 years
Dist. 9, Thomas Ratliff (R-Mt. Pleasant) – 4 years
Dist. 10, Tom Maynard (R-Florence) – 4 years
Dist. 11, Pat Hardy (R-Ft.Worth) – 2 years
Dist. 12, Geraldine “Tincy” Miller (R-Dallas) – 2 years
Dist. 13, Mavis Knight (D-Dallas) – 2 years
Dist. 14, Sue Melton (R-Waco) – 4 years
Dist. 15, Marty Rowley (R-Amarillo) – 4 years
The Texas State Board of Education will meet for the first time this year this morning. Over the last year we’ve seen a great deal of board turnover due to retirements and election results, meaning that today’s meeting will feature eight new members on the 15-member board.
Here’s what to watch for today:
Vice chair and secretary elections
After the swearing in ceremony, the first order of business will be to elect officers. Barbara Cargill, R-The Woodlands, remains the board chair, the post she was appointed to by Gov. Rick Perry. But members will decide amongst themselves who will serve as vice-chair and secretary.
Here’s why officer elections are important: the vice chair, secretary and chair make up the state board’s executive committee. Those three officers will assign board members to the board’s standing committees: Instruction (dealing with curriculum matters), Finance/Permanent School Fund, and School Initiatives (which deals with charter schools).
At the beginning of every new term, the board revisits its operating rules. In the past there have been debates over the need for basic qualifications for curriculum experts and other common sense measures that would improve the controversial process of adopting curriculum and textbooks. Theses previous efforts were contentious and largely dead on arrival. We’ll see if the board renews this discussion today.
Two years vs. four years
Board members serve four-year terms. But because of redistricting, all 15 spots on the board were up for grabs during last November’s elections. Now the board members must participate in a draw to determine who gets a four-year term and who will have to run again in two years. The draw happens today.
We will, of course, be at today’s meeting and will have more on today’s happenings here on the blog later today. Watch this post for updates as developments happen.