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Texas State Board of Education races getting more attention due to divisive issues

All 15 positions on the State Board of Education are on the November ballot.

HOUSTON — School board elections have become a lot more divisive due to topics far beyond reading, writing and arithmetic.

That includes the Texas State Board of Education which many voters may have previously overlooked.

But all 15 board positions are on the ballot this year and they're getting much more attention.

“We have politicized everything,” KHOU 11 News political analyst Bob Stein said.

He said the state board no longer operates under the radar like many local boards of education have in the past.

"There used to be a saying: 'There’s no Republican or Democratic way to pick up the garbage,'” Stein said. "There is. And that used to be the case with teaching people how to read, doing arithmetic. That didn’t have a partisan bias. It does now.”

Each of the 15 seats on the state board represents nearly two million Texans.

At least two incumbent Republicans were ousted in the primary due to issues that have infiltrated education circles.

"Largely CRT (critical race theory) and other, what we will call, from the Republican conservative element, 'woke' theory,” Stein said.

Republicans have held a majority on the state board for years and conservative candidates in five districts made critical race theory a key component of their campaigns.

Stein said he anticipates an even more noticeable shift after the election given that the board sets standards and curriculum for more than 1,200 public school districts across Texas.

"And I think you’ll see a lot more of that effort, that scrutiny," Stein said. "Particularly on CRT and anything dealing with gender and gender identity.”

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