Another Texas Death Match: McLeroy's confirmation fight
I previously reported that Don McLeroy was having trouble in getting confirmed by the Texas Senate as chairman of the Texas state board of education. This is an update.
A news article said,
The confirmation of State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy is dead in the water, Sen. Mike Jackson, R-La Porte, said Thursday.
Jackson, chairman of the Senate Nominations Committee, said McLeroy will be left pending in committee because there is enough opposition on the floor of the Senate to block his confirmation, which requires approval of two-thirds of the senators.
There are too many other important issues to take up on the floor to waste time on a doomed confirmation, Jackson said.
After a contentious confirmation hearing last week, Jackson said he would take the temperature of his colleagues before determining whether to give McLeroy a committee vote.
I suspect that a lot of senators who would vote for McLeroy tried to discourage a full-Senate vote by threatening to vote against him.
Later the Texas Freedom Network said,
Religious-right pressure groups, including the Texas chapter of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family and the Texas Pastor Council, have unleashed a flurry of calls urging legislators to support the SBOE. And their calls are having an effect. We have heard from senators that they are swamped with calls demanding McLeroy’s confirmation.
So as the saying goes, it ain't over until the fat lady sings. I urge readers to support the McLeroy confirmation campaign by contacting the members of the Nominations Committee of the Texas Senate.
The purpose of having an elected board of education is to enable the voters to focus exclusively on issues of education when electing the board members. This purpose is defeated when the state legislature becomes involved in issues of education, because the voters cannot focus on issues of education in the election of legislators because the voters must take into account the candidates' positions on other issues. Even in the field of education alone, there are many different issues that the voters must weigh. In fact, from my standpoint it would be nice if there were elected boards of evolution education and elected boards of holocaust education. It is sufficient that the members of the board of education are directly accountable to the voters, and the legislature should not unnecessarily become involved in issues of education.
On the subject of evolution education, the board listened to several days of public and expert oral testimony, received thousands of written comments, and spent several days of internal debate. The state Senate has done none of these things and is not in a good position to second-guess the board's decisions about evolution education.
Also, Don McLeroy's views on evolution have nothing to do with his fitness to serve as chairman of the state board of education. Denial of confirmation for McLeroy would have a chilling effect on public officials' willingness to question evolution.
Labels: Texas controversy (new #2)