SAN ANTONIO – Public school parent and college professor Michael Soto (D-San Antonio) today announced his candidacy for re-election to the State Board of Education in District 3, which spans San Antonio and deep South Texas. With his wife and two sons at his side, Soto made the announcement before a crowd of supporters gathered at the San Antonio Children's Museum.
"In recent years, the State Board routinely generated negative headlines for its short-sighted ways, for decisions that placed narrow-minded politics ahead of what's best for our state," Soto said. "Texas kids and Texas schools deserve better."
He continued: "That's why I'm proud of what we've accomplished since I took office in early 2011. We've made important gains in how the State Board conducts its business. We've adopted academically rigorous science instructional materials that have won the praise of scientists throughout the United States. We've brought much-needed attention to how the Permanent School Fund is managed and to charter school oversight. And we've raised the profile of important public education issues."
Joining Soto for his announcement were State Representative Mike Villarreal; local public school teacher and (Soto's former college student) Domale Dube; and biology professor Dr. Sara Volk. The kickoff reception was hosted by former State Senator Dr. Joe Bernal and Mary Esther Bernal, Charles Butt, Dr. Antonia Castañeda, former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros and former San Antonio Councilmember Mary Alice Cisneros, Alamo Colleges Board Member Blakely Fernandez, Jorge Herrera and Victoria Moreno-Herrera, Dr. Arturo Madrid, Debra Salge, Susan Smith and Tommy Smith, and José Villarreal and Maria Villarreal.
Also on hand in the audience were current and former state and local officials, community leaders, numerous public school parents and advocates, and several children.
"There are too many characters on the State Board," said Villarreal, "and not enough people with true character. That's why we need to keep Michael there, working on behalf of Texas schools."
After attending public schools in Brownsville ISD throughout his childhood, Soto received a B.A. degree from Stanford University and a Ph.D. degree from Harvard University. He is presently associate professor of English and director of the McNair Scholars Program at Trinity University. He is married to Celina Peña; their sons are Alejo, a third grade student in San Antonio ISD, and Américo, SAISD class of 2028.
The counties in the newly-redrawn SBOE District 3 are Bee, Bexar, Brooks, Duval, Gonzales, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Karnes, Lavaca, Live Oak, McMullen, Starr, and Wilson.