THERE SEEMS TO BE only one way for Texans to remedy the condition of the state’s education system and that is to exercise democratic power. All members of the present board were elected in 1982. Onethird of these members will be up for re-election in 1984. They include attorney Will Davis of Austin, possibly the only humanist with a shot at unseating Joe Kelly Butler as chairman in a vote by the state board. He must be re-elected. As of this writing, he has not announced his intentions nor has an opponent filed. Ruben E. Hinojosa of Mercedes is also up for re-election. He has shown some leadership potential and should be supported. The redistricting affirmed by the 1983 Legislature included an article cutting Virginia Currey out of her old district she calls it the “Joe Kelly Butler bill of attainder against p ress a se was to supOort and uplift faith He told . me what he said and,’ quite frankly, that is what the board has sax ” But there are some who are not so impressed with Bytturn’s leadership in this area. Dr. Jose Cardenas. executive director of the Intercultural Development Research Association criticized the lack of leadership r.qisd by Bynum and the Texas Education Agency ibgrams to equalize education. State Sen. Carlos Truan or the crime, saying the commissioner should “own up to some responsibility for the failure of his own agency education in Texas.” Then there is the question of the hiring policies of the Texas Education Agency, which Bynum heads, and the commitment to equal opportunity exhibited in the agency’s employment records. Maria Cande aria Solis, an accounting clerk II in TEA ‘s ccounting division, has filed a grievance with the State Board of Education protesting the failure to proinote her oa professional position, administrative technican II. According to the petition filed by Solis, a white male Virginia Currey.” Currey will not run again. She says she welcomes “the possibility of having a minority representative elected from her old district.” Currey warned, “I may be a lame duck this year, but I’m going to quack loudly before I’m through.” Also up for re-election is board chairman Joe Kelly Butler. A Republican from Houston, Butler has not had a challenger in recent elections. This may be the time to do something about that. The state education board races are located way down on the ballot in general elections, and most voters don’t pay much attention to those slots. They are, consequently, left to the control of special-interest groups, such as those represented by Mel and Norma Gabler, who concentrate time and money in this area. These groups thereby control the curriculum for the state and, to a certain extent, the textbooks for the nation. According to state board minutes from May 1974, upon the adoption of that year’s guidelines for teaching creationism and evolution, a board member reported that the changes were “satisfactory to the Gablers.” It is time that attention be paid to the state education board elections. It is time for democratic humanists to run for board positions and to be supported with organization and money and votes. In this way, the citizens of Texas can do more for education in this state than Ross Perot could ever do. G.R. ZP,”P:k with only 9 oktbs experience as accounting c e d to * yromote o the position. Solis. who has three ye ‘erienc’e as clerk, claims she was denied the prom o used upon her sex and national orioin in violair’ state regulations. Solis followed grievance proce . through the division and agency to no avail. Ace,: to TEA Deputy Commissioner Richard Arnett, the a’ “bent over backwards” to make sure there w et grounds for the complaint. “There was no evt anywhere.” he said. adding that the complaint was against two w omen who hired “the best person There are 28 1/2 positions in TEA’ s accounting divast including 16 positions classified as ‘professional. ” W an . Asian-American woman is head of the division, t no other minority employees in the 15’c professional positions. According to statistics by the Governor’s Office of Equal Employment nity, this pattern prevails throughout the agency White workers hold 90.4% of the 125 administr positions in the Texas Education Agency, with white 14, accounting for 70.4% . Of the 368 positions classf “professional,” 81.5% are held by whites and by white males. Of the 95 technician positions. 58″.. are held by white women and 22.1% by white men. When these figures are translated into salary 88.2% of those making over $33 , 000 are white. of those in the upper salary category are white male compared to 70.4% white male in the administrator end of the administrator pay scale. 83 % of those receiving: between $25,000 and $32.999 are white, and 79.8% o those receiving between $20,000 and $24,999 are white. No blacks or Hispanics were hired for the eleven part-, time professional positions in the agency. While women make up 53,5% of the total workforce of TEA, men account for a large majority of the G.R. ate 0447.:.,Aand 4 FEBRUARY 10, 1984
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