Receive the latest information from the Texas Freedom Network.

Protecting
Religious Freedom
Defending
Civil Liberties
Strengthening
Public Schools

2012 General Election Voter Guide

Those Who Don't Know History

Not sure what district you live in?
Click here to find out.

The Texas Freedom Network Education Fund has assembled a nonpartisan voter guide to inform citizens about the positions of candidates for the State Board of Education, the Texas House and the Texas Senate.

Jump to: State Board of Education | Senate | House

All information reported here was provided directly by each candidate or campaign in response to a questionnaire. 

For State Board of Education races, the guide is organized by issue. Click on one of the categories to see where candidates stand on that issue. (We have included responses only from candidates who completed the questionnaire.) You can also download and print a full version of the SBOE voter guide (PDF) that includes all issues. For more information and breaking news on state board races, visit TFN's SBOE Election Watch page.

For Senate and House races, the guide is ordered by distrct number. Click on a district number to see responses by candidates in those races.

Texas State Board of Education

white star logo Creationism/Intelligent Design

Question: Science classes should NOT present creationism and/or "intelligent design" alongside evolution as credible scientific theories.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Agree
Agree
Yes
No
No
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree Yes
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
Agree
Yes
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree Yes
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) Disagree No
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
Agree
Agree
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) Agree No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree Yes

 

white star logo Climate Change

Question: Public school science classes should present the substantial scientific agreement about the occurrence, consequences and causes of climate change, including anthropogenic/humancausal factors.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Agree
Agree
Yes
No
No
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree Yes
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
No Response
Yes
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree Yes
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) Agree No
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
Agree
Agree
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) Agree No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree Yes

 

white star logo Separation of Church and State

Question: Social studies instructional materials (textbooks) should make clear that the separation of church and state is a key Constitutional principle that protects religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring a particular religion.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Agree
Agree
Yes
No
Yes
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree Yes
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
Agree
Yes
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree Yes
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) Agree No
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
Agree
Agree
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) Agree No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree Yes

 

white star logo Social Studies/Civil Rights Struggles

Question: Texas' new social studies curriculum standards (TEKS) distort or suppress aspects of U.S. history dealing with slavery, segregation and struggles for civil rights by women and minorities, and the State Board of Education should REJECT social studies instructional materials (textbooks) that do not correct these flawed elements.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Agree
Agree
Yes
No
Yes
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree Yes
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Disagree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
No Response
Yes
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree Yes
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) No Position No
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
No Position
No Position
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) Agree No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree Yes

 

white star logo Sex Education

Question: High school sex education classes should teach the importance of abstinence but also include medically accurate information about contraception and disease prevention, including condoms and other forms of birth control.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Agree
No Position
Yes
No
Yes
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree Yes
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
Agree
Yes
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree Yes
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) Agree No
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
Agree
No Position
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) Agree No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Agree
No
Yes
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree Yes

 

white star logo Vouchers

Question: Texas should NOT use taxpayer dollars to fund vouchers that pay tuition for students at private and religious schools.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Disagree
Agree
No
No
No
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree No
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Disagree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
No Response
Yes
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree No
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) Disagree No
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
Agree
Agree
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) Agree No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree No

 

white star logo School Bullying

Question: Texas should require public schools to protect all children from bullying, harassment and discrimination in school, including the children of gay and lesbian parents or teenagers who are gay.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Agree
Agree
Yes
No
Yes
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree Yes
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
Agree
Yes
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree Yes
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) Agree Yes
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
Agree
Agree
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) Agree No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree No

 

white star logo Role of Teachers and Scholars

Question: Teachers and academic scholars should have primary responsibility for writing curriculum standards and textbook requirements for Texas public schools.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Agree
Agree
Yes
No
Yes
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree Yes
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
Disagree
Yes
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree Yes
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) Agree Yes
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
Agree
Agree
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) Agree No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Disagree
No
No
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree Yes

 

white star logo Nonpartisan Elections

Question: Elections for the State Board of Education should be nonpartisan.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Agree
Agree
No
No
No
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree Yes
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Disagree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
No Position
No
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree No
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) Agree Yes
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
Agree
Agree
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) No Position No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Disagree
No
No
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree No

 

white star logo Qualifications of Experts

Question: The State Board of Education should set minimum qualifications for experts involved with the adoption of curriculum standards and textbooks, including teaching experience or academic research in a relevant field of study.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Agree
Agree
Yes
No
Yes
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree Yes
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
Disagree
Yes
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree Yes
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) Agree Yes
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
Disagree
Agree
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) Agree No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Disagree
No
No
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree Yes

 

white star logo Pre-file Amendments

Question: State Board of Education members should be required to file proposed amendments to curriculum standards in advance of meetings so that all board members have an opportunity to study the proposals fully before voting on those amendments.

District
SBOE 1
Candidate
Martha Dominguez (D-El Paso)
Response
Agree
Additional Comments
No
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
SBOE 2
Ruben Cortez Jr. (D-Brownsville)
Lenard Nelson (L-Rockport)
Laurie Turner (R-Corpus Christi)
Agree
Agree
Agree
No
No
Yes
SBOE 3 Marisa B. Perez (D-San Antonio) Agree Yes
SBOE 4
SBOE 4
Lawrence Allen (D-Fresno)
Dorothy Olmos (R-Houston)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 5
SBOE 5
Rebecca Bell-Metereau (D-San Marcos)
Mark Loewe (L-Austin)
Agree
Disagree
Yes
Yes
SBOE 6 Traci Jensen (D-Houston) Agree Yes
SBOE 7 Matthew G. Petre (L-Rosharon) Agree Yes
SBOE 8 Dexter Smith (D-Friendswood) Agree No
SBOE 9
SBOE 9
Sherri Little (L-Gilmer)
Thomas Ratliff (R-Mount Pleasant)
Agree
Agree
No
Yes
SBOE 10 Judy Jennings (D-Austin) Agree No
SBOE 12 Lois Parrott (D-Dallas) Agree No
SBOE 13
SBOE 13
Mavis B. Knight (D-Dallas)
S.T.Russell (R-Dallas)
Agree
Agree
No
No
SBOE 15 Steven Schafersman (D-Midland) Agree Yes

 

 

Texas Senate

 

 

Texas House

 

Where does the Texas Freedom Network stand on these issues? Click here to read more.

(Candidates may contact TFN with any corrections at survey@tfn.org.)