(Update, April 3, 2014 – Marcia Neal announced she is running for re-election to the state school board.)
Everyone was surprised by last November’s school board election after Mesa County voters defeated three extreme tea party candidates openly supported by both the Mesa County Republican Party and a conservative billionaire from the other side of the state. Area voters not only rejected all three tea party candidates, but also the Mesa County GOP’s inappropriate attempt to politicize what has traditionally been a non-partisan race. Now Mesa County voters have an opportunity to make even more progress for education in 2014.
Our 3rd Congressional District State Board of Education delegate, Marcia Neal’s, term is up in 2014. Neal is yet another embarrassingly extreme, anti-education western slope representative who desperately needs to be replaced.
In 2010, Neal publicly supported a national group called “Balanced Education for Everyone” (BEE), that tried to stop the teaching of global warming in schools. BEE said the teaching of climate change was “unnecessary,” that it is “junk science” and teaching it scares children unnecessarily. In 2010, BEE representative and now Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese (after running unsuccessfully for a seat on the District 51 local school board), presented the local School Board with a petition containing 700 signatures asking science teachers to stop teaching kids about climate change. Marcia Neal openly supported Pugliese’s effort to block the teaching of climate change in local schools.
It’s beyond time for western slope voters to get a more pro-education candidate onto the state school board, and 2014 holds that opportunity. Since state school board members are elected to 6 year terms, it will be a long time before another opportunity comes around for us to make a positive change for education at the state level.