Jan 4, 2016 by

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“Great News from Texas: Thomas Ratliff’s Goof”

By Donna Garner



FIRST PIECE OF GREAT NEWS:  Thomas Ratliff (the long-time registered lobbyist for Microsoft who should never have been allowed to run nor serve on the Texas State Board of Education because of his conflict of interest problems) forgot to include his filing fee when he sent in his 2016 election application.  

Because of this goof on his part, his application was rejected; and his name will not be on the 2016 ballots. His SBOE term will expire at the end of this year.


SECOND PIECE OF GREAT NEWS: Mary Lou Bruner is running to replace Thomas Ratliff. She is a super-duper candidate and will make a super-duper SBOE member. Please read carefully through her campaign statement and do your part to help her financially. There are two more Republicans who have filed for that spot (District 9), one of whom is the “education establishment” candidate (a school board president and undoubtedly a member of TASB, a sister organization to TASA).  


Mary Lou and her husband are both retired teachers who live on a very limited income. She is running for the SBOE because she feels compelled to do so – not for any personal gain.  Because of the influence that Texas instructional materials (i.e., textbooks) have on all Texas public school children and on the rest of the nation, all of us need to do our part to support her.



We sent in our donation today. Mary Lou is in the process of setting up a website to receive online donations; but in the meantime, we can send our campaign donations to: Mary Lou Bruner, District 9:  Betty Carr (Treasurer) – P. O. Box 1212, Mineola, TX 75773.  


Donna Garner




I, Mary Lou Bruner, am excited to announce my candidacy for the Texas State Board of Education. 




I want to get involved in the curriculum standards out of which the locals develop their curriculum because it is the day-to-day curriculum that touches students’ lives the most.


The federal government has assumed far too much power over the public schools of Texas. I will oppose the philosophy of education that drives the Common Core Curriculum because it emphasizes process over the right answer.  


I will do everything I possibly can to make sure that our public school students are taught the traditional knowledge and skills that have made America the leader of the world.  


I believe schools should get back to basics by teaching phonics and grammar rules, by requiring students to learn multiplication tables, by teaching the theory of evolution as a theory — and not the only theory — and by teaching traditional math.  Health classes should teach about health and hygiene; health classes and children’s literature should not teach young children about sexuality issues. 




The children in public schools are stressed because they do not feel equipped with the foundational skills that give them the tools to achieve success in their classes and on their STAAR/End-of-Course Tests. The State of Texas is required to give all students the opportunity to learn the knowledge and skills that will equip them for the state-mandated tests and for college and/or the workplace. 




Today, we are losing some of our best teachers because teaching in the public schools is so stressful. Teachers no longer have the freedom to teach the most basic and important skills that students need to learn, and many teachers feel helpless and unsupported in their efforts to establish a well-disciplined classroom. Because of this, they are leaving the public schools to go to work in private schools; and experienced teachers are retiring early. In some cases younger teachers who have been indoctrinated by liberal professors and biased textbooks are replacing our best and most-experienced public school teachers. 


I will make sure that the elected members of the SBOE give clear academic direction by adopting curriculum goals that tell teachers WHAT to teach, but I will be equally as insistent that teachers at the local level be given the freedom to decide HOW to teach the curriculum. 


Teachers are the ones who know their students the best and who understand what is developmentally appropriate for each child.




If elected, I will support policies that create a better teaching-learning environment for both teachers and students in Texas schools.  I will advocate for children to receive an education that teaches them the foundational skills thoroughly enough so that they can use that knowledge to help analyze and think logically.




  • Graduated from Warren High School in Warren, Texas in 1965 and have lived and worked in East Texas all of my life


  • Received a Masters of Education in Special Education from East Texas State University, (now Texas A & M, Commerce) 


  • Attended East Texas Baptist College in Marshall, Texas, for three years before receiving a BA in English and elementary education from Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth:


  • Obtained the following Texas teaching certificates:  educational diagnostician, English, language-learning disabilities, early childhood, kindergarten, elementary education, special education counseling, and all-level school counseling


  • Have experience as a teacher, counselor, and educational diagnostician in Wood, Rains, Van Zandt, Henderson, Tyler, and Jefferson Counties 


  • Am a lifetime member of Texas State Teachers’ Association


  • Served for six years on the Teacher-of-the-Year Committee at Region VII Education Service Center in Kilgore


  • Retired in 2009 with 36-years’ experience in public schools





I am the only candidate in the District 9 Republican primary who has extensive and varied experience as a classroom teacher and as an administrator in the Texas public schools.


My husband Anthony and I live on a farm in Smith County near Mineola.  We have two adult children and two grandchildren. 




If I am elected to represent District 9* on the State Board of Education, I will stand for Texas values – your values.  I appreciate your vote and your support. 


Mary Lou Bruner

Candidate for Texas State Board of Education D-9

December 26, 20015


*District 9 Counties: Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Fannin, Franklin, Grayson, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Rains, Red River, Rockwall, Rusk, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood

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