Stateside Texas: Governor Abbott Appoints Home-schooler to Chair the State Board of Education

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas)

Gov. Greg Abbott

By Elaine Magliaro

The Associated Press reported last week that Governor Greg Abbott of Texas had tapped Houston Republican Donna Bahorich, a home-schooler, to serve as the new chairwoman of the Texas Board of Education. The AP said that Bahorich’s nomination has to be approved by a two-thirds vote of the Texas Senate.

Ryan Poppe of Texas Public Radio said that Abbott is “now being criticized for selecting someone whose own kids have never attended a public school.”


Bahorich’s appointment is being criticized by some education groups as well as by some of her colleagues because all three of her sons were home schooled and later attended a private high school.

Mt. Pleasanton Republican and State Board member-Thomas Ratliff points out, “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,”

Dona Bahorich

Dona Bahorich

David Edwards of Raw Story said that the Texas Freedom Network, a watchdog group, warned that Bahorich would “put culture war agendas ahead of educating more than 5 million Texas kids.”

In a statement, Kathy Miller, president of the Texas Freedom Network, said, “If Gov. Abbott wanted to demonstrate that he won’t continue his predecessor’s efforts to politicize and undermine our state’s public schools, this appointment falls far short…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.”

Edwards noted that critics “have become increasingly concerned that Abbott has allowed homeschooling interests to play too large a role in his decision making.”

According to Ryan Poppe, Bahorich said that a lot of “parents just want to have more school choices.” She admitted that “her background on the state board is certainly a non-traditional one”–but argued that “she is as familiar with important issues of the day as any other member of the state board.”

And so it goes. This is just one more story about political ideologues doing their best destroy public education in this country.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott picks homeschooler to chair State Board of Education (Raw Story)

Abbott taps Donna Bahorich as new Board of Education chairwoman (KXAN)

Gov. Abbott Appoints Home-School Mom To Chair State Board Of Education (Texas Public Radio)

This entry was posted in Conservatives, Education, Politics, United States and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Stateside Texas: Governor Abbott Appoints Home-schooler to Chair the State Board of Education

  1. Anonymously Yours says:

    Crazy people do crazy things. That’s what you expect from him.

    Irony is Abbott is in a wheelchair because a tree fell on him. He sued and won. This was ok, because tort deform hadn’t made it to Texas yet he got millions to settle.

    If he is really for tort reform, then why’d he take the money? Ah yes, a rising start at a plumb law firm in downtown Houston.

  2. Elaine M. says:

    From Charles Pierce:

    Let’s Close the Day With Crazy Texans
    In which we all need a laugh for cocktail hour.

    What she hasn’t done is send her children to public schools. Don’t worry, though. She’s got big plans.

    “Bahorich says a lot of parents just want to have more school choices. And she admits her background on the state board is certainly a non-traditional one. But she argues that she is as familiar with important issues of the day as any other member of the state board. One of Bahorich first initiatives will be to have a roundtable discussion with textbook publishers about their vision for the future…”

    When I see any news story containing the phrases, “homeschool Mom,” “Texas,” and “textbook publishers,” I get the nervous shakes so I lie down and think of Darwin.

  3. swarthmoremom says: They want to continue the culture wars. If gay marriage becomes the law of the land their heads will explode further. Don’t miss the place.

  4. mespo727272 says:

    Ok, so who gets to the bottom first: Wisconsin, Florida or Texas?

  5. Anonymously Yours says:

    Ok, Mesopo….. Why did you intentionally leave Mississippi out….. They have stupid there too…..speaking of stupid, what’s happening with Sheriff Joe.?

  6. blouise says:


    Maybe he left them out cause they’re already there. I believe Mississippi is ranked at 51. (That’s 50 states plus District of Columbia)

  7. blouise17 says:

    That’s School System Quality Rank

  8. mespo727272 says:

    I just didn’t have the heart to include Mississippi.

  9. pete says:

    As they say in Alabama, “Thank god for Mississippi”.

  10. blouise17 says:


    During my civil rights marching days I encountered some of the meanest racist I’ve ever known in Mississippi and some of the bravest white Mississippian women who stood against them. It forever colored my view of Mississippi. I love it, I hate it.

  11. Anonymously Yours says:

    Suppose when you are at the bottom…. It’s easy to get compared too….some goal though….. When you are just some alluvial deposit anyways…..

  12. I. Annie says:

    Wisconsin is in the lead, going down fast, Mespo.

  13. Mike Spindell says:

    We should have let them secede, oh wait they did…..and got away with it at the cost of hundreds of thousands lives of people who didn’t matter.

  14. Anonymously Yours says:

    Well Mike, Thomas made it clear that just because you are a slave does not mean you loose your dignity…..

  15. Elaine M. says:

    Editorial: Wrong Choice on Education Board, Governor
    Published: 02 July 2015

    It helps mightily to have walked in the shoes of a public school educator or parent if you’re going to shape public education standards. Donna Bahorich has done neither, and that’s why she is the wrong choice to lead the State Board of Education.

    The appointment is a needlessly provocative move by Gov. Greg Abbott, a nod to the Republican Party’s most conservative wing at a time when the long-contentious education board has found relative calm.

    Abbott easily could have picked a consensus builder among the 15 members of the board, which sets curriculum standards and approves textbooks used by 5.2 million schoolchildren. Instead, he waved a red flag.

    Even moderate conservatives have concerns that Bahorich lacks sufficient empathy for public school issues and will put the wrong items at the top of her agenda.

    Bahorich, a member of the education board since January 2013, has never sent a child to public school. She home-schooled her three sons, then enrolled them in private high schools.

    The Houston resident’s background is more steeped in politics than in education. She was campaign manager for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick during his first run for a state Senate seat and went on to serve in other key roles in the Patrick operation.

  16. swarthmoremom says:

    I am beginning to think Abbot is going to turn out to be worse than Rick Perry.

Comments are closed.