Thursday, April 14, 2011


By Chris Miller, President

If citizens electing representatives is the bedrock of our democracy, then why is there a bill in Carson City to change all of that. AB548, currently in the Assembly Education Committee will take away our rights as Nevadans to elect members of the State Board of Education. This bill, if passed, will make those 9 positions appointed. Why, because lawmakers want to control policy, reward friends and make you think it is in our best interest – it is NEVER in our best interest to let them take away our right to vote!

Some other points to note:

1. AB548 would be taking away the right of the citizen voter for elected representation by REGION.
2. Most appointed positions are given to white males and are not reflective of demographics. Current board is comprised of 5 women and 4 men. Ethnically, there are 2 African Americans, 3 Hispanics and 5 Caucasian members.
3. AB548 would give the Governor a 'rubber stamp' Education Board to make curricula. textbook and policy decisions.

The last is important because last year in Texas, the conservative Texas State Board of Education approved new textbooks. Among the changes form the old books: Students would be required to learn about the “unintended consequences” of Title IX, affirmative action, and the Great Society, and would need to study conservative icons like Phyllis Schlafly, the Heritage Foundation, and the Moral Majority.

The slave trade would be renamed the “Atlantic triangular trade,” American “imperialism” changed to “expansionism,” and all references to “capitalism” have been replaced with “free enterprise.”

The role of Thomas Jefferson – who argued for the separation of church and state – is minimized in several places, and the standards would emphasize the degree to which the Founding Fathers were driven by Christian principles.

The politicized textbooks would be a problem just inside Texas, but economic factors have given the state a huge influence over textbooks throughout the country. Unlike many other states, Texas makes the decisions on a state level on what books local school districts can buy. So when the state makes a decision on what books to purchase for its 4.7 million high school students, publishers take notice. The only bigger market for textbooks in the country is California, a state whose budget is in such disarray, it announced that it won’t be buying new books until 2014. In the meantime, an anonymous industry executive told Washington Monthly, “publishers will do whatever it takes to get on the Texas list,” even if that means caving in to right-wing activists.

Needles to say, if Gov Sandoval gets the right to appoint individuals instead of the electorate exercising it's rights under a democracy, we could be next here in Nevada.

This bill may be voted out of committee as early as today. Please take a moment and call members of the Assembly Education Committee and tell them why you oppose this bill.

Assembly Education Committee

David P. Bobzien (Home) 775-393-9709 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8559

Vice Chair:
Marilyn Dondero Loop (Cell) 702-556-0224 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8833

Paul Aizley (Home) 702-361-8262 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8821

Elliot T. Anderson (Home) 702-733-4073 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8835

Olivia Diaz (Home) 702-501-8994 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8553

Lucy Flores (Wk) 702-437-0587 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8583

April Mastroluca (Cell) 702-286-8568 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8855

Harvey J. Munford (Cell) 702-375-0601 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8545

Dina Neal (Home) 702-738-5870 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8587

Ira Hansen (Cell) 775-221-2502 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8851

Randy Kirner (Home) 775-852-3857 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8848

Richard McArthur (Home) 702-396-1065 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8829

Lynn D. Stewart (Cell) 702-370-2185 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8823

Melissa Woodbury (Home) 702-762-3110 (Leg. Bldg.) 775-684-8503

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