State Board of Education Race Could Have Lasting Influence

Marion Herbert's picture
Monday, May 14, 2012

A Central Texas Republican primary contest for the State Board of Education is shaping up to become one of the races that could define the board for years to come.

Each of the 15 seats on the State Board of Education is on the ballot this year, but only seven are truly competitive. All but one of those races will probably be decided by the May 29 primary.

In District 10, three contenders jumped into the GOP primary after the incumbent, Marsha Farney of Georgetown, decided to run for the Texas House. District 10 spans 18 counties, including Williamson, Bastrop and Burnet counties, as well as the western and northern portions of Travis County.

Rebecca Osborne, a teacher at McNeil High School in Round Rock, is making a second run at the State Board of Education after losing in the 2010 primary. She said there is a disconnect between the board and the classroom and sometimes the contentious debate overshadows what students need.

And Osborne maintains that the board members should be helping to develop the future of education in Texas rather than simply following the mandates of legislators.

"The State Board shouldn't be driven by the Legislature. It needs to stand up and have a voice," Osborne said.

Tom Maynard, executive director of Texas FFA and a former Florence school board member, also has classroom experience. He taught for 13 years before coming to Austin to run the statewide agricultural education group.

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