The State Board of Education (SBOE) does not want to face the public, especially not the SBOE Chairwoman, Gail Lowe. Here's what happened:
- The Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the Legislative Study Group, the House Black Caucus, and Senate Hispanic Caucus invited numerous SBOE and education officials to a hearing
- SBOE Chairwoman Gail Lowe declined, saying she couldn't afford to make the trip
- MALC made transportation arrangements, housing arrangements, and were going to pay for Lowe's gas to attend the short trip from Lampasas to Austin — a commute that is hardly beyond the realm of possibility.
- Lowe still refused to attend.
From the press release I received from MALC:
Initially citing the fact that her position as SBOE Chair was unpaid, Lowe declined to make the short trip from Lampasas to Austin. Even after receiving notification that MALC had made arrangements for a hotel, mileage reimbursement and per diem for meals; Lowe declined again— this time claiming a work commitment.
“To be turned down by Chairwoman Lowe is surprising and disappointing. I urge her to realize that over fifty members of the legislature are requesting her attendance at this very important hearing. We all have hectic lives and busy schedules, but she needs to make the time ” said MALC Chairman Trey Martinez Fischer.
The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28 from 9am-3pm at the Capitol Extension E2.012
Cynthia Dunbar, another Republican on the SBOE, is under fire from the Texas Freedom Network for additionally controversial remarks she made over the weekend. From a post on the TFN Insider blog titled, “Dunbar Takes New Trip on Extremism Train”:
Speaking last week on a far-right talk show, The American View, (read more about the show here) Dunbar — a Richmond Republican representing a state board district that stretches from west of Houston to Austin — attacked public education and even the religious faith of people who don’t agree with her. She also repeated her infamous attack on President Obama as a terrorist sympathizer. And as the state board prepares to take a final vote next month on social studies curriculum standards for public schools, Dunbar suggested that supporters of separation of church and state don’t understand the Constitution and that the drafters of the First Amendment had no concerns “whatsoever” for the nonreligious.
State Rep. Mike Villarreal is one of numerous legislators and groups urging Texans to take action and speak up about the State Board of Education. Sign a petition he has here.