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Published on May 28, 2024
Runoff Elections Set to Determine Fate of Texas State Board of Education SeatsSource: Facebook / Texas State Board of Education

It's showdown time in the Lone Star State as Republican candidates gear up for the critical runoff vote slated for the Texas State Board of Education seats. In the Central Texas race for District 10, incumbent Tom Maynard is squaring off against Mary Bone, a trustee for the Round Rock Independent School District.

Maynard, an advocate for demanding accountability and local control in education, has been a steady hand on the board since 2013. Owing to a plurality but not an outright majority in the March primary, he captured 49.29% of the votes according to a report by KXAN. In contrast, Bone garnered 40.45% amidst challenges stemming from her campaign's financial ties to a group linked to a white supremacist.

Meanwhile, District 12 has its own political tussle as incumbent Pam Little defends her seat against Jamie Kohlmann. With responsibilities that extend to the realm of public school curriculum standards and instruction materials, the outcomes of these races are deemed critical by voters and advocates across the board.

Pam Little, a businessperson rooted in the educational sphere since 2018, is purported to review math and social studies standards if she retains her vice chair position. Kohlmann, on the other hand, aims "to ensure that the state’s schools are equipped with rigorous TEKS" and align them with "Texas values," as shared with The Dallas Morning News. Early voting for these races has already stoked the flames of debate and interest, running through the week leading up to the May 28 runoff elections.

The political stakes are high, as the winners will not only take on Democratic, Green Party, and potentially Libertarian opponents in November but also shape the educational future of the state. With ten out of the board's 15 members being Republicans, these runoff elections could tilt the scales in favor of either maintaining the status quo or paving the way for change.