Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Texas Senate Takes Out SBOE Chair. What Now?

The Texas Senate, whose attacks were led by El Paso's very own Senator Jose Rodriguez, has removed SBOE Chair Gail Lowe from her position leaving that position vacant. Senator Rodriguez, who  must have realized that Lowe had no educational experience, led the charge against her confirmation in the senate. This now forces Governor Perry to have to appoint a new Chair to the State Board Of Education.

There are 15 members on the board all with different backgrounds and different levels of educational experience.    You have members who have sat on the board for several terms and you have some freshman. You have liberals on the left and honestly some on the right as well, who would love the opportunity to be the Chair. Unfortunately for them the appointments come from Republican Governor Rick Perry. So who will Governor Perry appoint?

Senator Rodriguez' actions in the senate may have opened the doors for El Paso's own Charlie Garza. Garza was in the trenches battling it out for teachers and students when the state budget was being hashed out. Being an educator himself, he realized how important it was to get as much funding to the school districts and met with local school superintendents and school boards to hear their concerns. Something that had not been done for over 23 years in El Paso. Garza spoke out when the Texas legislature "swallowed" $4 billion to help meet budget shortfalls leaving school districts worried about their children's future. Garza supports teaching TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), supports teachers and most importantly supports students. Something that can't be said about his predecessor.

There has never been an SBOE Chair from El Paso. Better yet, there has never been a Hispanic Chair on the SBOE. Senator Rodriguez might just have done something great for El Paso. Now I feel bad for bashing him so much. First he admits that El Pasoans are being targeted by drug cartels, at the University Medical Center hospital, and now he potentially gets Charlie Garza nominated to the Chair of the SBOE. There might be some hope for Democratic Senator Jose Rodriguez.

But of course we still have to wait for Rick Perry to nominate him. I'm kind of jumping the gun here. But lets take a look at his credentials. Garza is an assistant principal in the Clint Independent School District in El Paso. He has served as an education administrator in college, high school, middle and elementary school. Garza earned his undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a Master’s Degree from Old Dominion University, did doctoral work at The George Washington University and completed his course work for his superintendent certificate at The University of Texas at El Paso. And if that wasn't enough, he beat out the now infamous Larry Medina in a highly contested race for President of the El Paso Community College student government back in the day. (I was told that Medina lost the election because he said he was in the race one day, then he was out of the race but left all his campaign signs up on the Community College campuses throughout the election after giving a tearful speech about why he wasn't running to the school newspaper.) Garza then went on to become the Texas Jr College Student Association President. So who better to be the head of a board that over looks education than an actual educator?

I guess this rumor will get those atheist left wing extremist at TFN (Texas Freedom Network) all worked up. They have been attacking Gail Lowe on their website since her appointment in 2009 and are all giddy about her not being confirmed. I would really love to see the look on their faces if Governor Perry nominates Charlie Garza as the Chair of the SBOE. TFN had pretty much stuck a fork in Garza after the redistricting committee butchered Garza's district. According to Garza, "no one saw the complete map prior to voting on it". Anyone with half a brain could see it was the committee's way of trying to eliminate conservatives from the SBOE. Now we just wait and see if Senator Rodriguez' actions make El Paso the home of the new SBOE Chair.

Thanks Senator Rodriguez, I could give you a big wet kiss right about now.

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