Groups announce support for Cortez for SBOE
May 26, 2012 at 12:26 a.m.
State Board of Education Candidates
• Ruben Cortez Jr. is running against two other Democrats in the primary to represent District 2 on the State Board of Education.
• Larry Garza, of Kingsville, and Celeste Zepeda Sanchez, of San Benito, are his opponents.
• Also in the running are Republicans Veronica Anzaldua, of McAllen, and Laurie Turner, of Corpus Christi.
Two organizations, including an affiliate of one of the largest professional groups in the nation, have endorsed Ruben Cortez Jr. as a candidate for the State Board of Education in District 2.
The Texas State Teachers Association, part of the National Education Association, announced their support for Cortez, of Brownsville.
The local branch of the Service Employee International Union, a 2.1 million-member national union, has also endorsed Cortez.
"Ruben has supported educational issues and employees important to education. We feel we need someone with his view to represent us at the State Board of Education," said George Borrego, president elect of the Association of Brownsville Educators, the association's largest member. "We are out-numbered. We feel very secure that Ruben's going to win and represent us well."
Cortez has voiced his dedication to legislating from the classroom instead of the boardroom. He has vowed to listen to teachers when it comes to making decisions that affect the classroom.
He also said high-stakes testing is the wrong direction for Texas to be heading.
"Teachers are pressured into teaching how to pass a high-stakes test. We need to make testing a part of the academic process, not a one-size-fits-all, make or break it test. The enormous amount of money used for high-stakes testing can be used to accomplish so many other needs," he said.
Cortez has said he's frustrated with the state Legislature that cut $5.4 billion from Texas education in the last session.
"We need people who will go to Austin and undo some of the damage to our communities. No more budget cuts to our schools," Marisol Quintana, a Houston janitor said.
"We must all stand together and let Austin know that they must put the $5.4 billion cut from education back into the budget. We also must stand together and tell Austin that when you cut the education budget you have hurt every student, every community and cut jobs that are vital in providing the right educational environment for our children," Cortez said.