The Texas Freedom Network is wrong in its charge that the State Board of Education is doing "an end run around the Legislature's clear intent to bar them from censoring textbooks." On the contrary, it is clear in both case law and the Texas Education Code it is the duty of SBOE to exercise its authority in determining both the curriculum and textbooks for Texas schools.
The law is very clear. The TEC in section 31.024 states the SBOE does have the authority to reject a textbook. "And" means "and." Lawyers understand the impact of this language which is why the Texas Education Agency lawyers did not attempt to intervene in the SBOE's decision to reject the math textbook in question.
Further, recent case law was established when Trial Lawyers for Public Justice sued the SBOE on behalf of Daniel Charis who challenged the SBOE's rejection of his environmental science book. This case was upheld in favor of the SBOE by the lower court and then was appealed to the federal court. The fifth circuit issued an opinion in late 2005 on the matter.
Three federal judges in the Charis v. Miller 432 F. 3d. 606 (5th circuit. 2005) ruled in favor of the SBOE's decision and I quote:
"Designing the curriculum and selecting textbooks is a core function of the SBOE. It is necessary for the Board to exercise editorial judgment over the content of the instructional materials it selects for use in the public school classrooms, and the exercise of that discretion will necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Board members. The purpose of the Board is not to establish a forum for the expression of the views the various authors of textbooks and other instructional materials might want to interject into the classroom ... Further, the Board has a statutory obligation under Texas law to exercise that discretion in order to promote the state's chosen message through the Board's educational policy."
State Board of Education, District 6