The Six Conservative Texas State Bd. of Ed. Members Identified

Aug 12, 2011 by

by Donna Garner

These are the six conservative Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) members on the 15 member Board who continually work to adopt quality curriculum standards for our public schools and to protect the Permanent School Fund to pay for students’ instructional materials:  David Bradley, Barbara Cargill, Charlie Garza, Terri Leo, Gail Lowe, and Ken Mercer (listed alphabetically).

In the 2010 Texas elections (March and November), a massive effort was made by leftists and the education bureaucracy to punish the conservative SBOE members because they had managed to put our schools back on the road to traditional curriculum. Unfortunately, many of the newbie voters at the time did not know anything about the elected SBOE; and our state lost valuable conservative strength on the Board.  Today we have only 6 out of 15 on the SBOE who vote regularly for conservative principles.

The good news is that times have changed; and the newbies, many of whom are desperately concerned about the type of curriculum that has been taught in our public schools over the last ten years, are now engaged in the political process.
The new-and-improved curriculum standards (English/Language Arts/Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Math — in the adoption pipeline) form the basis for the new STAAR/End-of-Course tests and the Texas accountability system that go into effect this coming school year.

We owe these SBOE members our thanks for helping to put our Texas public schools on the road to authentic education reform.  Please consider contributing to their campaigns.

If all of us Texans contribute $5, $10, $15, $25 to each of the six conservatives, we can help them build up a fairly sizeable campaign war chest.

Remember that early voting starts for the Texas primaries on 2.21.12 with regular primary election day being March 6, 2012.

Those primary elections will be here before we know it, and we must help our SBOE conservatives to get their campaigns moving right now.

I have posted at the bottom of this e-mail some excerpts from Ken Mercer’s excellent articles that explain why these SBOE members need our support.  Ken’s comments are applicable to all six of the conservative leaders on the SBOE.

The liberal left is targeting each of these six members of the SBOE in the 2012 election.  If we want our public schools to continue implementing the new, rigorous, knowledge-based, academic, measurable, explicit, grade-level-specific standards, then we must support these SBOE members.

If we do not care, then the left-leaning SBOE members elected by default will move their agenda right back into our public schools.

Since children only come this way once in their lives, we adults better make sure they are taught the right things that will give them an opportunity to become well-educated, successful citizens and future voters.



1.  David Bradley, 2165 North Street, Beaumont, Texas 77701 — link to bio on Texas Education Agency website:


2.  Barbara Cargill — website:; page for donations: — link to bio on Texas Education Agency website:


3.  Charlie Garza —  — link to bio on Texas Education Agency website:


4.  Gail Lowe — 11 Chris Ave., Lampasas, TX  76550 — link to bio on Texas Education Agency website:


5.  Terri Leo, 23516 Twin Oaks Drive, Spring, Texas 77389;  — link to bio on Texas Education Agency website:


6.  Ken Mercer — Friends of Ken Mercer, P.O. Box 781301, San Antonio, Texas 78278-1301; — link to bio on Texas Education Agency website:




Ken Mercer Asks for Your Help


In 2012 because of redistricting, all seats on the Texas State Board of Education will be on the ballot. Even though many of us just ran in 2010, we will be required to run again in 2012 if we intend to retain our seats…


As you know, because of my conservative leadership, I am again a target of the far left.  I need your support to defend my seat.

Many supporters do not realize that as an elected State Board of Education member representing 1.8 million constituents in twelve counties, I receive no salary or benefits. 

For example, a State Representative, who represents 150,000 constituents, is blessed with an officeholder allowance from the State of Texas of about $160,000 per year.  That funding supports an  office in Austin, an office in the Representative’s home district, three or more professional staffers, mailers to constituents, several  computers, cell phones, furniture, and other equipment.

A State Representative also receives a small monthly salary, health insurance, and is enrolled in the pension plan.


Again, as a Member of the State Board of Education, I do not receive any allowance or salary.

This is not a complaint — just a fact.  My intention is to help my constituents to understand why I need your financial help to defend our values.





Ken Mercer Responds to

Editorial Board

(Op-Ed Submission to San Antonio Express-News)

Thank you for allowing me to respond to your editorial in which you referred to me as a conservative ‘zealot” on the State Board of Education (SBOE).


True, I will not always agree 100% with academic “experts” who come before the SBOE.  True, there is a “culture war” of political ideology and philosophy, especially in the area of new standards for American History, Government, and Economics.


It might interest members of the Chamber of Commerce to know that “experts” had deleted every reference to the free enterprise and free market system in the K through Grade 12 draft version of the Social Studies standards.


Because I certainly could not agree with these “experts,” I successfully brought forward and passed the amendment, complying with Texas law, to restore the teaching of the positive benefits of the free market for creating jobs and opportunities.


Another example: A panel of university “experts,” led by a professor from the University of Texas at El Paso, voted 8-1 against American Exceptionalism.  When I questioned that action at a public SBOE hearing, the “expert” immediately launched into a lecture about how wonderful Socialism is in a “good democracy.”


When I asked the UTEP professor for his example of a good democracy, he replied “Venezuela.”  I reminded him that the President of Venezuela has made sure that the state has control of every newspaper, radio, and television station in that country.


One Ph.D.  “expert” testified that “high school students are unqualified to ask questions.”  I countered that if our children are no longer allowed to raise their hands in class and ask honest questions, then we are no longer living in a place called the United States of America.


A professor from the University of Texas at Austin shared a survey that included 51 professors from the History Department.  Fifty answered “Democrat” when asked their political affiliation.


While we SBOE members were searching for examples of good role models for our minority students, one “expert” pushed for a current board member of the Democrat Socialist Party of America.  My amendment deleted the Socialist and added Navy Seaman Philip Bazaar, the first Hispanic recipient of the Medal of Honor, and Army Sgt. William Carney, the first African-American recipient of the Medal of Honor.


Finally, “experts” deleted Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, and the Liberty Bell from the Grades 3-4 Social Studies standards.  “Experts” also raised a concern about the use of the word “patriot” in the new standards.


My fellow Conservatives and I carried the amendments to restore the coverage of Veteran’s Day, Independence Day, and the Liberty Bell along with many other essential historical elements of America’s history, such as including the word “patriot.”


I also voted to ensure that from K-12, as age appropriate, our students will actually read and study the authorship and purpose of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.  Our Texas school students will also study the impact those documents had on such historical milestones as the Emancipation Proclamation and women’s suffrage.


I am sad to report that too many university “experts” range from being America bashers to America haters.  Unfortunately this editorial board blindly sides only with those types of “experts.”


I often state, “The Far Left is scared to death of a place called Texas.”  Why?  Texas has an elected SBOE, not a politically appointed board.


I am a representative of 1.8 million constituents in a very conservative district, and I am not a rubber stamp for the agenda being directed at our public school students by the “Far Left zealots.”

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