Craig represented the Lubbock area for many years. When the SBOE was redistricted last year, he ended up with a gigantic district that covered about a fourth of Texas. That may have led to his decision not to seek reelection. [In a previous version of this story, I wrote that Mr. Craig would “retire” from the SBOE. This is incorrect nomenclature. He will remain on the board and serve out his term.] During the years when controversy on the board was at its zenith, Rick Perry named several members to the chairmanship. Had he elevated Craig during that period, the squabbling on the board might have come to an end much earlier than it did. Instead, he appointed a succession of right-wing chairs who had little interest in public education. Craig was a voice of reason on the board who contributed significantly to the transition to a more moderate board being elected in 2010. Although he is leaving, the board is now much more balanced than it has been in years. Craig set the example for what an SBOE member is supposed to be. He will be missed. * * * * I apologize for missing that Mary Helen Berlanga, another longtime member of the State Board of Education, has decided not to seek reelection. Berlanga served during one of the most contentious periods in the history of the SBOE, when it was dominated by the members from the far right. She was a strong advocate for public education and, like Craig, she will be missed.
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