Jason Moore 0

Ask Governor Perry to Veto HB4294

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To: Texas Republicans Dear Governor Perry: The SREC members and additional conservative groups and people signed below are respectfully asking for your veto of HB4294. We have worked arduously through the legislative process to caution our Texas senators and representatives about the harm they are inflicting to the elected body of the State Board of Education. HB4294 moves Texas towards a closed, drastically less transparent process--at a time when the people demand and deserve more transparency. This bill will turn a thoughtful, systematic process that now exists for approving printed textbooks, into a bureaucratic and disreputable process fraught with numerous opportunities to misdirect and harm our students because of the lack of elected and parental oversight. While some may see controversies among our elected SBOE as something to “fix” by undermining the Board's authority, most citizens see it as a way of vetting all sides of the issues presented to this body. By passing this bill, the Texas legislature has sown the seeds of the eventual demise of our elected body of the State Board of Education. Taxpayers across Texas will not take kindly to having their voices silenced in this way. The Texas Republican Party platform, passed by grassroots Republicans throughout our state, has this to say about the SBOE: “We support an elected State Board of Education (SBOE) with authority over the Texas Education Agency, selection and termination of the Commissioner of Education, and textbook adoption.” And “The SBOE must have sole authority over textbook content and state adoption, and this process must include public hearings." These provisions are extremely clear and straightforward--and HB 4294 is a direct violation of these ideals. If there is any doubt regarding the bill's intent regarding the SBOE’s authority to accept or reject books on the Commissioner’s list, consider a quote from Sen. Shapiro on May 23, 2009 on this bill; "THE SBOE CAN NOT REJECT A BOOK ON THE COMMISSIONERS LIST”! The State Board of Education's textbook quality-control process has benefitted our schoolchildren. The Board has successfully fought for crucial, phonics-based foundations in elementary reading textbooks, ensured that our social studies curriculum reflects America's capitalist and market economics in a positive light, stopped inaccurate, propaganda against the oil and gas industry from entering classrooms, insisted that elementary school students memorize multiplication tables, and made sure that "fuzzy math" was replaced with solid, rigorous math approaches. Governor Perry, thousands of Texas citizens represented by the attached list of groups, implore you to veto this legislation on the grounds of: the lack of transparency, the attack on the Texas Constitution, and the undermining of our Republican Party Platform. We appreciate the leadership you have shown this session, and we trust that you will continue to demonstrate that courageous, common-sense leadership by vetoing this harmful legislation. Sincerely,

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http://www.citizenwatchdogs.com Texans for Better Science Education - Mark Ramsey Texas Eagle Forum - Cathie Adams Free Market Foundation - Kelly Shackelford Texas Pastors Council - Dave Welch Liberty Legal Institute - Jonathan Saenz Central Texas Republican Assembly of Comal County - Bill Harris
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