“after a seismic conservative shift erupted in local school board races in suburbs across the state, more eyes are on who will be elected to the board that dictates what should be in teachers’ lesson plans in Texas’ 1,200 public school districts”
The increased interest in school board races is hitting hard in Texas this year, as fifteen seats are up for grabs on the State Board of Education.
As in many other places, Critical Race Theory is the driving force.
Brian Lopez reports at the Texas Tribune:
Why all eyes are now on the often ignored Texas Board of Education races
As political races go, candidates for the Texas State Board of Education are often overlooked, making their races a perennial wallflower in Texas politics.
But this year, after a seismic conservative shift erupted in local school board races in suburbs across the state, more eyes are on who will be elected to the board that dictates what should be in teachers’ lesson plans in Texas’ 1,200 public school districts. Parents in some of these districts have become a vocal force coming out of the pandemic, questioning everything from why and when schools should close to what books are appropriate to be in school libraries to how thorough history lessons should be.
“One thing that strikes me is that it mirrors what we’re seeing in local school board elections,” said Rebecca Deen, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington…
And if there’s anything to help challengers stand out, it’s a new Texas that went into effect last year and bars teachers from subjecting students to anything that makes them “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” based on their race or sex. The measure was designed to counter what conservatives term “critical race theory” — a broad term used to describe what they see as indoctrination: attempts by a school to offer a more comprehensive look at American history.
That’s a broad and a rather generous description of CRT.
This is also happening on a local level in Texas. Reuters reports on the Austin suburb of Round Rock, where there is increased attention being paid to school board races:
ABCs not LGBTs: Battles over race, gender inflame Texas school board vote
At traffic-choked intersections in this Texas town, a blunt campaign slogan stands out from clusters of candidate signs: “Teach ABCs + 123s, Not CRTs & LGBTs.”
Blood-sport politics have come to school board elections in Round Rock, a rapidly growing and diversifying suburb of Austin. Parents are forming political action committees, canvassing door-to-door and sparring on social media. National interest groups, political parties and unions are weighing in on what have historically been nonpartisan contests.
The slogan belongs to Don Zimmerman, one of five conservative school board candidates who bill themselves as the “One Family” slate. The group rails against what it calls “political correctness” in schools, “leftist” teachers’ unions, “pornography” in school libraries and LGBTQ-friendly policies.
Among their top targets is critical race theory (CRT), which argues that racism and prejudice are embedded within U.S. laws and institutions.
Parents are taking back their schools, and they should.
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