State Board of Education Chairman Speaks with Newschannel 6

It's no secret the State of Texas is facing a massive budget shortfall and one area seeing cuts could be the education system.

Tuesday the chairman for the Texas State Board of Education was in town and we had a chance to sit down and talk with her.

Gail Lowe spoke to the gentleman with the Wichita County Republican Men's Club at the Dillard School of Business.  She spoke about the role the board plays, but had a lot to say when it came to budget cuts and the controversial textbook changes.

"I think one of the unfortunate things with the budget shortfall is that school districts may not get the textbooks they need," said Gail Lowe, Chairman for the State Board of Education.

She believes that is a possibility considering the legislature can choose to do what they please with the $3.2 billion the board is handing over to them.

"I'm hopeful that the state won't trim the education portion of the budget so severely that textbooks go out the window," she said.

If you recall controversial changes made to Social Studies and History books were implemented back in May and those changes were accused of having Judeo-Christian influences of the nation's founding fathers.  Lowe defends those changes saying those standards were moved toward the middle for balance.

"Rather than tell them what to think or how to think we show them the facts and allow them to come to their own conclusions," she said speaking of students.

Another change made but then later taken back was the language describing the slave trade.  Lowe says school teachers pushed to rename it the Atlantic Triangular Trade to include goods as well as people being traded but because it received so much backlash it was left alone, as the slave trade.

"The slave trade, slavery, is included in all those references in early American History in eighth grade history and then in U.S. Government."

Lowe says the changes were made to benefit the students and give them a well-rounded education.

Changes made in the Social Studies and History Textbooks will go into effect in the fall of 2011.
Math standards will be looked at and revised this Spring.

To find out more about the Wichita County Republican Men's Club, click here.