The TEA has responded to Chris Comer's lawsuit alleging wrongful dismissal from the agency. The Story in the Texas Observer reports:
The fatal flaw in Comer’s argument, according to TEA’s Motion to Dismiss (.pdf), “arises from a fundamental misconception of the relationship between the Texas Education Agency, headed by defendant Scott, and the State Board of Education.” The 15-member elected board of education develops curriculum, including what Texas schoolchildren learn about evolution, the motion states. TEA only administers that curriculum and provides oversight. “TEA staff, in their capacity as state employees, must not take positions, even by implication, on contested curriculum issues the State Board will be called upon to resolve,” the motion states.
So all of the power for the curriculum resides with the State Board of Education and none with the TEA? How does the SBOE have the power to restrict the free speech of the TEA members? Is that in the contract? If so, it is probably a violation of the First Amendment. What a bureaucratic nightmare.