House Committee Hearing on State Board of Education – More Members?
The Texas House Committee on Redistricting met today. Chair Solomons says the hearing will be about the population numbers/size of the 15 SBOE districts, and not about content of decisions made bythe SBOE, etc. Let’s see if Texas Freedom Network and others on the far left stick to these boundaries.
Only Republican SBOE members present. For some reason, no Democratic SBOE members are present.
2:20 p.m. Committee is back from the break. SBOE member Charlie Garza is testifying.
Yannis Banks, from NAACP testifying: I can see the need for growth, you will probably have to go “big” in order to do it.
Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) testifying: Any addition of SBOE members should maintain or be a net gain for Latino voting opportunity.
SBOE Chair Barbara Cargill speaks first. SBOE has a travel budget.
Chairman Branch-Former SBOE Chair Tincy Miller asked for helped with staff members to assist their work.
SBOE Member Gail Lowe: “We’re a policy making body, not a regulatory body so we are not in charge of providing oversight over each individual school district.”
Considering increasing the number of SBOE members is not timely, constituents are asking for less government.
Rep. Diane Patrick: 27 member board became unwieldy, needed to streamline, more efficient government.
Democratic Rep.Carol Alvardo says the SBOE needs more diversity in its membership. SBOE Member Gail Lowe responds and points out the SBOE membership is actually more diverse, with 33% minority representation and more diverse than both the Texas House and Senate.
SBOE member George Clayton, no change in number of SBOE members needed.
Pat Hardy, no change in SBOE member numbers needed. I have no problem communicating with my constituents.
SBOE member Ratliff: I don’t think an appointed board or more members on the SBOE is the answer, nor should the board members have a party affiliation on the ballot.
Rep. Alvarado: My constituents have no idea who their SBOE member is. Who is the SBOE member for Rep. Alvarado in Houston? Democratic SBOE Member Lawrence Allen is the SBOE member for Rep. Alvarado’s district.