AUSTIN (AP) – Republican Laurie Turner has won a spot on the State Board of Education representing part of South Texas.
Turner, a middle school history teacher in the Gregory-Portland school district, defeated Democrat Ruben Cortez Jr., a Brownsville businessman, for the District 2 seat held by Democrat Mary Helen Berlanga, who did not run again after 30 years on the board.
All 15 board spots are up for re-election following redistricting. The board’s responsibilities include establishing the state’s public school curriculum, approving textbooks and managing the state’s permanent school fund.
A bloc of social conservative Republicans on the board has drawn attention in the past for ideological battles including drawing doubts to the theory of evolution. Turner, of Corpus Christi, says she considers herself a moderate Republican and her focus is students.
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