Texas State Board of Education:
An Inventory of State Board of Education Minutes and Agenda at the Texas State Archives, 1950-2005
The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is the policy-making body of the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which coordinates all public educational activities and services except those of colleges and universities. TEA's organizational goals are to improve the effectiveness of school teachers and administrators; to enhance educational programs for students; to provide funding to local districts while ensuring proper use of state and federal funds; to conduct educational research; to develop and administer student and teacher testing programs; and to provide useful information bases. The SBOE approves, on the recommendation of the commissioner of education, the plan of organization; adopts policies, rules, and regulations; approves budgets; executes contracts for the purchase of textbooks and instructional materials as recommended by the commissioner; directs the investment of the Permanent School Fund; passes on appeals made from the decisions of the commissioner; reviews the educational needs of the state; and evaluates programs under the direction of TEA.
The first ex-officio Board of Education was created by the Texas Constitution of 1866, Article X, Section 10, and consisted of the Governor, Comptroller of Public Accounts, and Superintendent of Public Education. Its composition was changed by the Texas Constitution of 1876, Article VII, Section 8, to include the Texas Governor, Secretary of State, and Comptroller of Public Accounts, "who shall distribute said funds to the several counties and perform such other duties concerning public schools as may be prescribed by law." An elective office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction was established in 1884 (Substitute Senate Bills 32 and 44, 18th Texas Legislature, Special Session). In 1905 (Senate Bill 218, 29th Texas Legislature, Regular Session) the State Superintendent of Public Instruction was designated as ex-officio secretary to the three member State Board of Education.
The Texas Constitution, Article VII, Section 8, was amended by the election of November 6, 1928, to read: "The Legislature shall provide by law for a State Board of Education, whose members shall be appointed or elected in such manner and by such authority and shall serve for such terms as the Legislature shall prescribe not to exceed six years. The said board shall perform such duties as may be prescribed by law." In 1929 (Senate Bill 13, 41st Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session; and House Bill 79, 41st Texas Legislature, 2nd Called Session), this newly constituted board was created, composed of nine members appointed by the governor for six-year terms. It superseded the earlier ex-officio board.
In 1949, the Texas Legislature (Senate Bill 115, 51st Texas Legislature, Regular Session), reorganized state management of public education in Texas. It abolished the appointive nine-member State Board of Education, and also the elective office of State Superintendent of Public Instruction. In their place, this law created a central education agency composed of an elected 21-member State Board of Education (SBOE); a State Commissioner of Education selected by the board; and agency staff of a State Department of Education--soon called the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The 21 members of the SBOE were elected for staggered six-year terms, with one member being elected from each congressional district of the state "as they now exist and as they shall be changed from time to time." In 1969 (House Bill 534, 61st Texas Legislature, Regular Session), the description of these districts was amended to read: "The State Board of Education shall be composed of 21 members, one elected from each of the educational districts, whose boundaries are coterminous with the congressional districts as constituted in 1949." But when the congressional districts were increased to 24 as a result of redistricting in 1971 (Senate Bill 1, 62nd Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session), the number of SBOE members was also raised (Senate Bill 2): "The State Board of Education is composed of one member elected from each congressional district established by law."
In 1984 (House Bill 72, 68th Texas Legislature, 2nd Called Session) specific State Board of Education districts were created, and the SBOE was reduced to 15 members, one member elected from each newly constituted SBOE district, for overlapping four-year terms. The commissioner of education is nominated by the board and appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate for a four-year term. That same legislation also established the Legislative Education Board to oversee the implementation of state-mandated education reforms and to set public education policy, which TEA and the State Board of Education implement.
In 1995 (Senate Bill 1, 74th Texas Legislature, Regular Session) the legislature, among other changes in education, established the Texas State Board of Education as an entity separate and apart from the Texas Education Agency, although SBOE is still considered the policymaking board for TEA. This law also created a new body, the Texas State Board for Educator Certification.
The Texas State Board of Education is also designated as the Texas State Board for Career and Technology Education (formerly called the Texas State Board for Vocational Education).
To recap, there are the following stages in its existence:
(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 4th edition (1972) and 11th edition (2001); the article on "Texas Education Agency" by Dick Smith and Richard Allen Burns in the New Handbook of Texas online; the agency web site (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/) (both websites accessed January 2007); Texas Constitution, Article VII, Section 8; V.T.C.A., Government Code, Sections 7.101 thru 7.104; and the enabling legislation, 1876, 1905, 1929, 1949, 1969, 1971, 1984, 1995.)
The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is the policy-making body of the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which coordinates all public educational activities and services except those of colleges and universities. The SBOE approves the plan of organization for TEA; adopts policies, rules, and regulations; approves budgets; executes contracts for the purchase of textbooks and instructional materials as recommended by the commissioner; directs the investment of the Permanent School Fund; passes on appeals made from the decisions of the commissioner; reviews the educational needs of the state; and evaluates programs under the direction of TEA. These functions are well-documented by the minutes and agenda.
These records consist of copies of agenda packets, minutes, plus attachments for meetings of the Texas State Board of Education and its committees, dating 1950-2005. Typically (especially for later years) the agenda packets and the minutes are bound separately, and are both quite detailed. Often loose (unbound) are the official schedule and agendas for the board and its committees, for a month's meetings. The agenda packets contain slightly fuller itemized agendas for the board and its committees, with a column indicating the page numbers of the accompanying exhibits (texts of proposed and approved rules and regulations, committee reports (both narrative and statistical) with attachments, correspondence, resolutions, petitions, school board trustee applications and resumes, budgets, financial documents (e.g. Permanent School Fund securities lending activities), requests for proposals, summaries of legislation, etc.). The minutes packets contain copies of detailed minutes for the board and its committees, plus attachments. Especially in the earlier years, the minutes include those of the Texas State Board of Vocational Education (which is--ex-officio--the State Board of Education).
Committees of the State Board of Education have varied over the years; they have included, but are not restricted to, the following: Committee on Rules, Budget, and Finance; Committee on Special Populations; Committee on Vocational Education and High Technology; Committee on Instruction, Research, and Evaluation; Committee on Investment of the Permanent School Fund; Committee on Teacher Preparation, Support Services, and Litigation/Appeals; Committee on Internal Rules; Committee on Personnel; Committee on Long-Range Planning; Committee on Finance and Program; Committee on Students; Committee on Planning; Committee on Instruction; Committee on School Finance; Committee on Permanent School Fund; Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund; etc.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Materials do not circulate, but may be used in the State Archives search room (Room 100). Materials will be retrieved from and returned to storage areas by staff members.
Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
(Identify the item), Texas State Board of Education minutes and agenda. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession numbers: 1998/130, 2002/139, 2004/209, 2005/068, 2006/346, 2007/092
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas State Board of Education on May 26, 1998; May 31, 2002; and December 20, 2004; by the Texas Legislative Reference Library on July 19, 2004; and April 7, 2006; and by the Texas Legislative Council on January 29, 2007.
Tony Black, May 1998, April 2006, January 2007
The Texas State Board of Education posts its minutes (in HTML format for the most recent, in Microsoft Word format for earlier ones) on the Texas Education Agency web site (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/minutes/sboe/index.html). The Board has also posted committee meeting minutes (in PDF format for the most recent, in Microsoft Word format for earlier ones) on the agency web site (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/minutes/committees/index.html). As of January 2007, the minutes posted go back as early as February 2004. In addition, an "archive" (going back to 1998 as of January 2007) of SBOE meeting schedules and agenda (in HTML format) is posted on the agency web site (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/schedule/archive.html), with more recent meeting schedules and agenda (in HTML format) at (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/schedule/index.html).
The record copies of minutes and agenda are maintained by the Texas State Board of Education.
Detailed Description of the Records