The little-known State Board of Education is assigned only one task in the Texas Constitution: to wisely manage public money in the Permanent School Fund.
The Texas Legislature, the governor’s appointed commissioner of education and local trustees make most decisions about public schools. But lawmakers delegate duties to the board, such as writing a curriculum and choosing materials.
Just last week, for example, the board was meeting in Austin to decide if second-semester algebra and speech will remain graduation requirements.
It’s a low-profile board that doesn’t get attention except when it wades into debates over history and science curriculum, which in turn leads to debates over religion and evolution.
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Then, board members become the focus of segments on The Daily Show or movies like The Revisionaries, the even-handed 2012 documentary about former Chairman Don McLeroy’s heartfelt belief that the earth is 6,000 years old.
Three contested primaries this spring will decide the direction of the board and Texas school curriculum for the next four years.
Two of the three contested seats include Tarrant County.
In District 11, incumbent Fort Worth Republican Patricia “Pat” Hardy has served 12 years on the board, long enough to catch grief from every direction.
Hardy, a 30-year history and geography teacher at Castleberry and more recently an administrator in Weatherford, brings a teacher’s practical-minded voice to the board.
An ardent Republican campaigner and curriculum conservative, she nonetheless often winds up in the middle of arguments between liberal Democrats and McLeroy’s former faction.
But her credentials show best in her work as vice-chair and chair of the Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund.
Hardy says in her 10 years, the fund has grown from $17 billion to $29 billion.
One opponent, Bedford Republican Eric Mahroum, is a graduate of Mansfield High School and an open-enrollment, online college. He was a party activist in Denton County but has little involvement in or knowledge of education issues.
North Richland Hills Republican Lady Theresa Thombs, a real estate agent and evangelist, is also on the ballot.
The district includes west and southwest Fort Worth, suburban Tarrant County, Parker County and northwest Dallas County.
Hardy’s classroom experience and stable leadership are needed to keep the board and Permanent School Fund on a steady path.
The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Patricia “Pat” Hardy in the Republican primary for State Board of Education District 11.
We strongly encourage Parker County voters to re-elect Mark Riley to Parker County Judge. He has served ably in that capacity in all his elected terms. He has supported Parker County and its citizens in numerous projects with his thoughtful ideas, honest opinions and firm direction. He provides guidance with his expertise and experience in many areas.
Riley has demonstrated that he is honest, forward looking and a trustworthy caretaker of taxpayer dollars. Ranging from improved transportation means in the county to care and efficiency for county employees, he always strives to bring about actions for the common good.
His operation of his judicial court is well-respected, timely and fair by all those who have had contact and experience in it. He is accessible to people and easy to communicate with, treating all with respect.
Know that he has a real caring interest in the success and future planning of Parker County and the opportunities that can be afforded to all in the County. Vote for Mark Riley to continue excellence, success and forward motion for Parker County.
Kaye and Frank Martin
We would like to express our support for the re-election of Mark Riley as Parker County Judge. In our opinion, Riley has proved himself to be successful in leading our county in a very positive direction.
He has always stood up for Parker County at the state and national level and helped see that many new roads are now opening for us all to have safe travel.
Judge Riley is a strong supporter of the older adults and less fortunate of Parker County and volunteers his time, talent and means to help with fundraisers and events on their behalf.
We ask our friends and family to please vote for Judge Mark Riley.
Kenneth & Nadeen Murphree
Lynn Marie Johnson is running for re-election for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4. As residents of Willow Park since 1992, we are much aware of what goes on in our city and our precinct. We would like to inform the voters of this area why we support Judge Johnson for re-election.
Since Judge Johnson was elected to this position, the office has undergone substantial change in her effort to be responsive to the community and to be accountable to the voters. Collections have increased by more than 30 percent, security and technology have been upgraded, a website has gone online, the backlog of criminal and civil cases has been eliminated and the office is operating under budget.
As long time residents, we can honestly say that Judge Johnson has been the best Justice of the Peace since we have been here. We recommend that all registered voters go to the polls and vote for the re-election of Judge Lynn Marie Johnson.
W.G. Hale Alderman
Chairman, Precinct 410
Please re-elect Lynn Johnson for Parker County Precinct 4, Justice of the Peace.
Judge Johnson has been the driving force behind the Parker County Teen Court Program where kids with Class C Misdemeanors have the option of going through Teen Court and keeping tickets off of their records.
This is good for the kids in trouble, as well as the community, because they perform community service instead of paying fines. It is a great program that I have been involved with for several years, giving me real world experience of the judicial system, court room and has allowed me to serve as a jury member, bailiff and attorney. Judge Johnson is the only judge in Parker County that is passionate about the Teen Court program, taking time out of her personal life to support the volunteers, opening her courtroom and giving defendants a second chance and opportunity to make something good out of a bad situation.
Parker County Teen Court student volunteer