Texas parents concerned with the quality of their kids’ education made a strong showing in the Lone Star State’s board of education primary this week after some Republican newcomers unseated GOP incumbents whom voters did not think would set appropriate curriculum standards for the state’s 1,029 public school districts.
As the national culture war heightens, Texas parents frustrated with the rise of indoctrination in their children’s schools decided that the only way they would get a say in the matter was by running for the State Board of Education (SBOE). Suddenly, a race that is usually discounted as an insignificant down-ballot race by voters gained the attention of many Texans concerned about radical ideology in the state’s school systems.
Will Hickman, the incumbent conservative board member for District 6, solidified his spot as the Republican candidate in the general election after convincing voters that his track record voting against far-left climate rhetoric in Texas science curriculum and advocating against a series of radical gender ideology textbooks was worth another term.
“As a conservative, as a Christian, as a parent, I bring the parent perspective to the board,” Hickman told The Federalist in February. “I’ve enjoyed the past year and I’m willing to put my name forward and resume experience and work on the board and see if the voters of the district want to put me back.”
Pro-parent conservatives such as Audrey Young, Keven Ellis, Tom Maynard, Pat Hardy, and Pam Little, running for the SBOE in Districts 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, also survived their primary elections and will be featured on the general election ballot in November.
In District 14, Evelyn Brooks, a mother frustrated with graphic, inappropriate school books and her school board’s unwillingness to listen to parents’ concerns, upset unreliable GOP incumbent Sue Melton-Malone this week.
“All children deserve a quality and equal education where their individual learning needs are met. The way to ensure this is to allow parents a choice to decide if public schools, charter schools, or homeschooling best meet the holistic needs of their children. One size does not fit all,” Brooks told The Federalist in February.
Brooks said she knows the struggles students dealing with indoctrination face and wants to see a change from the top down.
“My microphone was cut off at the podium during my public remarks at my local ISD [Independent School District] board meeting after questioning our superintendent and trustees about the reasons and purpose for building a medical clinic in our ISD. I watched my ISD initiate a pilot program during the 2021-2022 school year, where advanced [Integrated Language Arts] classes are combined with on-level ILA in order to promote ‘equity,’ and thus, dummying down our high achieving students. I want to help fix these problems within our Texas public school system,” she said.
In District 15, newcomer Republican Aaron Kinsey, a concerned father, unseated incumbent Jay Johnson, who had an iffy track record on approving charter schools that voters in West Texas found problematic.
“I’m proud to be a part of the movement of parents stepping up to take back their kids’ futures,” Kinsey said in a press release. “We will fight to return our education to traditional American values, teaching our kids what they need to succeed in their futures. Together, we will strengthen Texas education, returning our focus to what matters most: our kids.”
Historically, Texas’s SBOE has faced pressure from activists to adopt curricula that not only endorse judging students based on the color of their skin but require schools to teach leftist politics. These leftists want mandatory workbooks and lessons that paint “anti-racism” as a solution instead of a problem, amplify extremist climate change agendas, and neglect human biology to promote trans ideology. After the March 1 primaries, invigorated Republican candidates are ready to take on radical education proposals by the horns.
Republicans currently hold the majority on the SBOE with nine members but after GOP representatives who didn’t prioritize parental choice were rooted out in the primaries, conservatives have the opportunity to make even bigger gains on the 15-spot board in the November general election.