SBOE redistricting: unfairly taking away representation for people of color

Sergio Lira stands in dark suit and red tie testifying at a podium
Watch Sergio Lira—Houston Federation of Teachers member, former teacher, principal, and Houston ISD trustee— tell legislators that proposed SBOE maps will unfairly take electoral power from people of color.

The Texas Legislature may take power away from communities of color for the next decade when the House is expected to vote today on new maps for State Board of Education (SBOE) districts laid out in SB 7, which the Senate has already passed.

If the Legislature approves the maps as they stand, we will lose diverse representation on our highest elected body for public education. Why does this matter? How does this redistricting affect you and your schools? Here’s what the SBOE does:

  • sets the curriculum that teachers teach
  • reviews instructional materials
  • establishes graduation requirements
  • makes decisions on whether new charter schools should exist
  • administers the public school fund
  • approves all rules affecting teacher certification

The proposed maps do not represent Texans of color fairly, particularly in urban areas and suburban areas. Because 95% of the past decade’s population growth in Texas has been in communities of color, and the vast majority of students in our public schools are students of color. As it stands, the new maps outlined in SB 7 are gerrymandered and unrepresentative. Public school kids and families need educational leadership that can represent their needs.