State Board of Education Candidates

This November, eight of the fifteen Texas State Board of Education seats are up for election. The eight SBOE districts on the ballot include 1, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14 and 15. As of September 1, District 8 (Barbara Cargill), 14 (Sue Melton), and 15 (Marty Rowley) are unopposed. TCTELA sent all SBOE candidates a questionnaire asking their views on several issues: support for implementation of the new ELAR/SLAR TEKS, support for the Texas Educator Equity Plan, and support for our most recent Advocacy Day issues of full-day Pre-K and balanced literacy. Candidate responses that have been received by TCTELA are posted here in full. * Indicates an incumbent.  


SBOE DISTRICT 1 - Georgina Perez (D), georginaperezsboe.com, no response


SBOE DISTRICT 5 - Ricardo Perkins (L) richardoperkins.info
Currently, half-day Pre-K is available to certain groups of Texas children. What is your position on making access to full-day, high-quality Pre-K available for all Texas children? 

I support the education of children at the earliest possible age in order to give them a boost in their future learning years.  I whole heartedly support high-quality, Pre-K for all children.   However, I do not want this to become a baby-sitting type of environment, so there needs to be participatory requirements to ensure that the children are actually being educated and that Pre-K does not become a free baby-sitting service.    I would like to push Pre-K children to be exposed to 3 or 4 different languages and to see if we can help promote cross-culturalism at this young age.   I'm also interested in exposing Pre-K children to number and math concepts.   Of course, I'm not sure where the proper funding will originate, but let's make the decision to push them forward first.


SBOE DISTRICT 6 - Donna Bahorich* (R) donna4texas.com 

Currently, half-day Pre-K is available to certain groups of Texas children. What is your position on making access to full-day, high-quality Pre-K available for all Texas children? 

According to the 2015 Department of Education report on early education, 38 percent of Texas 4-year-olds are not enrolled in publicly funded programs. Understanding that funding is always an issue when making these choices, I believe we have struck the right balance with providing Pre-K primarily for economically disadvantaged students where the dollars spent can make the most impact and are most needed. 

The state has moved toward increasing expectations of Pre-K programs. Those must be more closely aligned with what the research shows increases effectiveness. We have to ensure consistent ways of evaluating and encouraging quality Pre-K across the system and supporting a higher level of required teacher certification and training. Increasing state support of Pre-K must be accompanied by support for the quality improvements as well. A complete systems approach is necessary, not merely funding to expand Pre-K to full day.

Early does matter. The SBOE has heard compelling testimony on the impact of the preparedness gap. A 10-year-old reading at a 90% level versus a 10% level has been exposed to 200x more reading materials, an enormous gap. The gap only grows without strong intervention. The longer the gap exists, the more difficult it is to overcome. Working earlier with children of poverty starts the remediation process and has the potential of closing the gap, if quality instruction is the norm not the exception. This is critical if we are to give all students the opportunities they deserve.


SBOE DISTRICT 8 - Barbara Cargill* (R) BarbaraCargill.com, uncontested race, no response.  


SBOE DISTRICT 9 - Amanda Rudolph (D) AmandaRudolph.net

Currently, half-day Pre-K is available to certain groups of Texas children. What is your position on making access to full-day, high-quality Pre-K available for all Texas children? 

I believe that we have an obligation to provide high-quality Pre-K to all children in Texas. Early exposure to texts, numbers and other learning activities helps to narrow the achievement gaps we have. Early childhood education should not be privilege; it should be a right.


SBOE DISTRICT 10 - Judy Jennings (D) 

Currently, half-day Pre-K is available to certain groups of Texas children. What is your position on making access to full-day, high-quality Pre-K available for all Texas children?

High-quality pre-K is important for all children, especially those who come from lower socioeconomic status households. It provides children an opportunity to be exposed not only to academic principles, but social-emotional learning. I fully support making access to full-day, high-quality pre-K available to all Texas children.


SBOE DISTRICT 14 - Sue Melton-Malone* (R) meltonfortexas.com, uncontested race, no response


SBOE DISTRICT 15 - Marty Rowley* (R) martyrowley.org, uncontested race, no response