Tarrant members of education board have big leads

Posted Tuesday, Nov. 06, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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Two members of the State Board of Education who represent Tarrant County were far ahead of their opponents in early returns Tuesday night.

Pat Hardy, the Republican incumbent in District 11, was leading Libertarian Jason Darr 84 percent to 15 percent at 9:30 p.m. in incomplete, unofficial returns from the Texas secretary of state's office.

Hardy, of Weatherford, was seeking a fourth term. She is chairwoman of the board's School Finance/Permanent School Fund Committee.

District 11 extends from Parker County to Carrollton and includes west Fort Worth and parts of southeast and southwest Tarrant County.

In District 13, Democrat Mavis Best Knight of Dallas had a comfortable lead over Republican S.T. Russell.

At 9:30 p.m., Knight had 75 percent of the vote to Russell's 25 percent.

Knight was seeking her fourth term. She is a member of the board's Committee on School Initiatives.

District 13 stretches from Fort Worth across Arlington and covers much of Dallas County.

In another North Texas race, Republican Geraldine "Tincy" Miller appeared likely to reclaim her spot on the board representing District 12, which includes Collin County and parts of Dallas County.

Miller was leading Democrat Lois Parrott, 63 percent to 37 percent. The seat was previously held by Republican George Clayton, who was defeated in the primary.

Miller served 26 years on the board but was ousted in the primary two years ago.

The entire 15-member board was up for election because of redistricting. At their first meeting, the newly elected members will draw numbers.

Eight will get four-year terms, and seven will get two-year terms. After that, they'll have four-year terms.

The board will be working for the first time with Michael Williams, the state's new education commissioner.

The board's responsibilities include establishing the state's public school curriculum, approving textbooks and managing the state's permanent school fund.

The board is scheduled to adopt new science textbooks next year, a perennially controversial subject because social conservatives challenge the theory of evolution.

After intense debate in 2009 about how evolution is taught, the board ultimately decided that Texas science teachers would no longer have to teach the "strengths and weaknesses" of evolution.

Teachers would still be encouraged to consider "all sides" of scientific theories.

In District 15 in the Lubbock area, Republican Marty Rowley was far ahead of Democrat Steven Schafersman at 9:30 p.m., 78 percent to 22 percent.

Rowley's campaign material said that he supports letting students "look at all sides of scientific theories, including evolution, intelligent design and global warming."

Schafersman founded a watchdog group for accuracy in science education.

This report includes material from The Associated Press and the Star-Telegram archives.

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