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Raquel Saenz Ortiz
Texas State Board of Education District 10






Additional Information

Candidate Survey Responses


1. If elected, what do you believe your primary role and responsibility as a State Board of Education (SBOE) member should be?

As a State Board of Education member, I would work to set curriculum standards, review instructional materials, establish graduation requirements, help oversee the Texas Permanent School Fund, provide final review of rules proposed by the State Board for Educator Certification, and review proposed award of new charter schools.

2. In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue facing public education in Texas?

I believe the most pressing issues facing public education in Texas to be teacher salaries, the threat of vouchers, and censorship of curriculum, instructional materials, and library books.

3. What role should educators and educator groups such as ATPE play in policy decisions made by the SBOE?

Educator groups such as ATPE should play a key role in shaping policy decisions as these groups represent the voices and interests of teachers, which should be centered in the decisions made by the SBOE.

4. How much weight should the SBOE give to educators’ input when it comes to developing curriculum standards (known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills or “TEKS”) and approving instructional materials?

Educators input should be key when developing curriculum standards and approving instructional materials. Educators should make up at least half of content advisory committees to revise the TEKS, with content experts making up at least 25% of the advisory committees. There should also be more streamlined processes to seek input from educators in developing and reviewing the standards and approving instructional materials.

5. In 2023, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1605, which requires the SBOE to review and approve instructional materials that may be used by school districts. What is the right balance between the SBOE and local school districts when it comes to selecting and approving instructional materials?

I believe that teachers should have more agency in choosing materials for their classrooms. This currently has become restricted at both the district and state level. The SBOE's role should be to ensure that materials are historically and scientifically accurate. However, districts and schools should also have agency to choose their own materials, provided that they are historically/scientifically accurate and represent diverse perspectives.

6. Do you believe our state’s public education system, including current regulations on testing and accountability, graduation requirements, and curriculum standards, enables students to receive a well-rounded education throughout all grade levels? Would you recommend any changes?

I do not currently believe that current regulations ensure that all students receive a well-rounded education. I would recommend regular revisions of curriculum standards, following the models of states that have been more successful in reducing inequities in Education and ensuring that practical critical thinking skills are centered in all content areas. I also believe that testing and accountability systems should be revamped to ensure that unnecessary pressure is not placed on teachers and that more holistic measures are used to measure student and school success.

7. What role, if any, should charter schools have in the Texas public education system?

Charter schools can provide an additional option to families, particularly when they propose an innovative model of education (i.e. tech-based, project-based, IB, international). Charter schools should follow the same rules and regulations as public schools, particularly in ensuring that they can provide equitable support to students with special education needs and emerging bilingual students. Oversight of charter schools should include an examination of how budgets are used to ensure funds are not mismanaged.

8. What role should the SBOE play in overseeing charter schools, such as approving or denying new charter applications and expansion requests for existing charters?

Restrictions should be implemented to reduce the number of charter school applications to ensure that funds from public schools are not restricted. I do not believe that the SBOE should hold sole power in overseeing charter schools as not all SBOE members have a background in education. It is essential that these decisions be made by experts in the field. In making these decisions, TEA should play a key role in approving or denying new charter applications.

9. Do you believe the SBOE should continue to have the authority to review and potentially veto any rulemaking actions taken by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC)?

I do not think that the SBOE should continue to have the authority to veto actions taken by SBEC

Additional Comments from Candidate on Survey


I have dedicated my entire career to the field of Education. I was a teacher, guidance, counselor and school administrator for 17 years. I have a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction and am now am a teacher educator. I am regularly in schools, working with teachers in District 10, and know the issues currently facing both teachers and students. I am committed to increasing student success and supporting teachers.