Senator Ellis Press Release

For Immediate Release
February 20, 2013
Contact: Jeremy Warren, 512-463-0113

Statement of Senator Rodney Ellis on Vote to Approve Barbara Cargill as Chair of SBOE

(Austin, Texas)—Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) today released the following statement on Senate approval of Barbara Cargill as Chair of the State Board of Education:

"In spite of some real concerns, I voted in favor of Barbara Cargill to continue to serve as Chair of the State Board of Education. While I have reservations, unlike many in the US Senate I believe our role is 'advise and consent' on gubernatorial nominees, and that only those nominees that are completely unacceptable and out of the mainstream should be rejected.

"I do wish to go on record that my vote for Chair Cargill is not an endorsement of some of her views on creationism or her questionable action on litmus tests for social studies standards, and I remain concerned by her comments about needing more "Christian Conservatives" on the School Board of Education. I closely followed her nomination hearing and hope she will live by her pledges that she will be even-handed and much more cautious in her statements and cognizant that her words as leader of the State Board of Education can have an impact perhaps far beyond her intention.

"With that said, Chair Cargill made clear commitments to members of the Senate Nominations Committee that she will set aside her own personal politics and lead the board in an even-handed manner. It is clear that the atmosphere is better under Chair Cargill than it has been in the past, and she is a much better alternative to some others mentioned as possibilities."