Republicans dominate races for the Texas State Board of Education, running against Critical Race Theory (CRT).
By Eileen Griffin
Republican candidates for the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) won 10 of 15 races campaigning against Critical Race Theory (CRT).
In Texas, the SBOE decides what children will learn in the government-run schools through statewide curriculum standards and tests. The Texas SBOE influences the content of education nationwide by selecting and purchasing millions of textbooks that are offered free to every local public school in the state. There are roughly 5.5 million public school students in Texas, Texas Tribune reports.
Prior to Tuesday’s election, Republicans held nine seats, but redistricting resulted in elections for all 15 seats. Nine incumbent Republicans retained their seats and one additional win further strengthens their position, the Texas Tribune reports.
CRT Issues Dominated
Radical ideologies, such as CRT, made a stark difference in this year’s board elections.
Two Republican primary candidates lost their races earlier this year when challenged by committed anti-CRT candidates. The general election favored conservatives with strong objections to CRT and vocal positions in support of parental empowerment and against political agendas.
Historically Democrat-held District 2 elected a Republican for the first time since 2012. The challenger, Republican L.J. Francis, was endorsed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
“LJ Francis has a deep conviction for the importance of Texas public education and student achievement,” Abbott’s endorsement states. “His perspective on how important it is to have a strong basic education will lead our great state into an era of excellence. As an immigrant from Jamaica, he has exemplified the value of education and is a Licensed Professional Engineer, small business entrepreneur and an educator. I have the utmost confidence that he will be on the forefront in the effort to empower parents to make decisions for their own children’s education, supporting teachers as well as to keep politics out of the classroom.”
Francis ran on a platform opposing CRT and the “woke” agenda.
“Growing up in Jamaica and legally immigrating to these great United States of America taught me through God’s blessings, hard work and receiving an excellent education anyone can achieve far more than their parents could imagine,” the campaign website reads. “I will NEVER support ANY efforts to institute Critical Race Theory or any racist ideology in our classrooms and into the minds of our children. It’s time to tell ‘woke’ politicians, enough is enough!”
‘Value Our American Heritage’
Republican incumbent Patricia (Pat) Hardy successfully defeated her Democrat challenger. The conservative states her opposition to CRT and the 1619 Project on her campaign website.
“We must guide our young people so they understand and value our American heritage,” states Hardy. “Marxism and Communism have no place in our schools.”
Evelyn Brooks, who one another SBOE seat, defines herself as, “an educator guided by faith.” Her campaign platform provided on her website includes a rejection of all critical race theory and comprehensive sexual education curriculum, in accordance with Texas law.
The SBOE has been considering revisions to the state’s social studies standards proposed by committees of teachers and education experts. Before the November election, the SBOE voted to delay revisions until 2025.
The overwhelming Republican majority will discourage indoctrination of Texas school children with radical and racist ideologies. However, local elected school boards and the superintendents, principals, and teachers they hire control what is taught in classrooms.