- About Us
- Community Guidelines

Advertising on BOR
- Advertise on BOR


We're Counting On You.

Burnt Orange Report is redeveloping our website for the first time in almost a decade.

We're counting on your support to continue providing you free and frequent coverage of progressive issues that matter to Texans.

Help us build a website that is as great as the content we publish on it.

Two Runoffs for State Board of Education Result in Wins for Qualified, Pro-Education Candidates

by: Joseph Vogas

Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 00:00 PM CDT

Erika Beltran is the Democratic nominee for SBOE District 13

The Texas State Board of Education is often times the most important legislative body in Texas voters know nothing about. Over the last several years it has been at the center of public debates on evolution, history, science, and civics. The State Board of Education decides on the curriculum to be taught in schools and what is to be included in the text books of Texas' school children.

Luckily, in the two runoffs for the State Board of Education, one Democratic and one Republican and both located in the North Texas metroplex, the candidates most likely to support pro-science standards with positive educational backgrounds were nominated. In District 11, incumbent Republican Patricia "Pat" Hardy was re-nominated with 58.68% over her TEA Party opponent Eric Mahroum while in District 13 Erika Beltran will be the new Democratic nominee after incumbent Mavis Knight decided not to seek re-election late last year.

After the jump, learn why the nomination of these two candidates is a positive development for Texas school children.

For Democrats in District 13, both runoff candidates would have pushed positive agendas, but Erika Beltran stood out with clear upsides. Burnt Orange Report was so impressed with Beltran, we endorsed her in the first round of the primary and maintained that endorsement for the runoff. We were not alone, Betran was also endorsed by several incumbent State Representatives, the Dallas Young Democrats, the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas County, The Dallas Morning News, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Beltran has taught students in kindergarten and the fourth grade and has a Maters of Public Affairs from the LBJ School in Austin, class of 2006. As a young candidate, she has proven to be tech savvy; Democratic State Rep. Raphael Anchia advocates on what we can expect from Erika Beltran when she is sworn onto the State Board of Education in January.

Rafael Anchia Endorsement for Erika Beltran for SBOE District 13 from Emily McCartney on Vimeo.

Beltran will face a Libertarian opponent in November.

Meanwhile, in District 11, Republicans were to chose between a long time, trusted former school teacher and a radical TEA Party activist. Dallas' KERA sums up incumbent Pat Hardy and challenger Eric Mahroum's backgrounds:

Hardy, 65, is campaigning on her 30 years of education experience as a social studies teacher and a curriculum strategist.  She says she's been involved in education reform ever since the 1980s, when she campaigned for "no-pass-no-play" legislation that required athletes to pass their classes before suiting up.  

"I know a lot about education policy. I know all the players in education. I have the expertise and knowledge and the desire to do the job," Hardy said at a recent GOP forum in Arlington.
Hardy nearly won the Republican nomination outright with 49.5 percent of the primary vote. Mahroum had 43.5 percent.

Hardy says a top priority if re-elected would be the smooth implementation of the diploma graduation program, which requires eighth graders to choose a subject area where they'll concentrate their studies. Hardy believes more school counselors are needed to help students make the right choices.

"We simply don't have enough counselors to do that job. So do they do (counsel) a few well or do they do all of them and not do a good job?"

Hardy's 31-year-old opponent, Eric Mahroum, is an operations manager at a concessions company and the father of two daughters, one of whom is home-schooled.  He says his business background is needed.

"We need someone who has a budget experience and money experience to deal with the permanent school fund. We need someone who will protect it and build on it," Mahroum said.
Mahroum told the Republicans gathered in Arlington he favors allowing schools to arm educators so they can be a first line of defense in the event of school violence.

He stresses his Roman Catholic faith, and believes schools should be able to display the Ten Commandments.

"I'm for that realizing not every child is going to have a Christian background but our country as a whole, we stem from the Judeo Christian values," Mahroum said.

Many of Mahroum's ideas and positions are outside of the scope of the State Board of Education and should instead be handled by the legislature if they were to be implemented. One position Mahroum did stake out which is within the scope of the State Board of Education, was that Texas Schools should not teach sex education. Incumbent Hardy disagrees, but felt each district should decide how to implement that education.

Mahroum has no educational training and his nomination would have been a disaster for all Texans. Hardy will face Democrat Nancy Bean and a Libertarian in November.

You can follow me on Twitter at @trowaman.

Copyright Burnt Orange Report, all rights reserved.
Do not republish without express written permission.

Tags: , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

Amazon Referrals
Buying Back-to-School Books?

Use BOR's Amazon Referral and we'll receive a share of your purchase, at no cost to you!

Click here to shop.

Connect With BOR

2014 Texas Elections
Follow BOR for who's in, who's out, and who's up.

Candidate Tracker:
-- Statewide Races
-- Congressional Races
-- State Senate Races
-- State Rep. Races
-- SBOE Races
-- Austin City Council

Click here for all 2014 Elections coverage


Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?

Texas Blue Pages

Texas Blue Pages
A career network for progressives.


Shared On Facebook

Burnt Orange Reporters
Editor and Publisher:
Katherine Haenschen

Senior Staff Writers:
Genevieve Cato
Joe Deshotel
Ben Sherman

Staff Writers:
Omar Araiza
Emily Cadik
Phillip Martin
Natalie San Luis
Katie Singh
Joseph Vogas

Byron LaMasters

Blogger Emeritus:
Karl-Thomas Musselman

Read staff bios here.

Traffic Ratings
- Alexa Rating
- Quantcast Ratings

Powered by: SoapBlox