Texas Governor Greg Abbott has named a Christian homeschooler to chair the State Board of Education.
Last week Abbott announced the appointment of Texas State Board of Education member Donna Bahorich, a conservative Republican from Houston, as the new board chair.
Bahorich, a Christian extremist who has never sent her own children to a public school, is a controversial appointment that has many critics concerned for the future of public education in Texas.
A graduate of the ultra-conservative Liberty University, Bahorich homeschooled her own children before sending them to a private religious high school.
Bahorich, who was once communications director for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, also served as president of the Daughters of Liberty Republican Women, and is currently a member of the pastor’s council at Houston Vineyard Church.
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller expressed disappointment on the appointment:
The governor has appointed as board chair an ideologue who voted to adopt new textbooks that scholars sharply criticized as distorting American history, who rejected public education for her own family and who supports shifting tax dollars from neighborhood public schools to private and religious schools through vouchers. This appointment almost guarantees that the board will continue to put culture war agendas ahead of educating more than 5 million Texas kids.
Even fellow Republican State Board member Thomas Ratliff called the move a mistake:
Public school isn’t for everybody, but when 94 percent of our students in Texas attend public schools I think it ought to be a baseline requirement that the chair of the State Board of Education have at least some experience in that realm, as a parent, teacher, something.
Raw Story reports that critics have become increasingly concerned that Texas Governor Abbott has allowed homeschooling interests to play too large a role in his decision making.
However, public education in Texas has been victimized by conservative Christians sitting on the Texas State Board of Education for years.
For example, last November, the Republican-controlled Texas State Board of Education voted along party lines to approve biased and inaccurate textbooks promoting the ridiculous notion that the Founding Fathers based the U.S. Constitution on the Bible, and that the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses.
Bahorich’s controversial and misguided appointment to chair the Texas State Board of Education signals yet another victory for Christian conservatives, and yet another disappointing defeat for public education in Texas.