Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, September 21, 2015

Homeschooler Leads Board Of Education

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas made the bold move of appointing a homeschooling mother to chair the Texas Board of Education. Donna Bahorich taught her three children from her Houston home from kindergarten through eighth grade. The kids must have learned something because they went on to a private high school and one became a National Merit Scholar. Now they are all engineers: one petroleum, another chemical, and the third mechanical.

But Mrs. Bahorich’s appointment has offended the education establishment who claim that she lacks the credential of having taught in a public school. Texas board member Thomas Ratliff, a fellow Republican, said that “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 or teacher.” What Mr. Ratliff does not seem to realize is that Mrs. Bahorich has been named to chair the Board of Education, not the Board of Public Schools. The question for state policy should be whether kids learn, not where they do it. Even Mr. Ratliff has now admitted his earlier criticism was a “temper tantrum” and said the board’s new chair is doing a “great job.”

Mrs. Bahorich is not a rookie. She has served on the Texas Board of Education since the citizens of school district six elected her in 2012. As chair she will serve with 14 other members, so the board already has plenty of voices who can represent traditional public schools. One reason home-schooling has become so popular across America is that so many public schools have failed to educate so many students. I certainly think that public education could stand more non-traditional voices. The influence of a homeschooling mother with experience in non-traditional education may be just what the students of Texas need to improve their school system.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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