A former Texas State and University of Texas physics professor will be running under the libertarian ticket for the District 5 seat on the State Board of Education.
Mark Loewe said he has attempted to get proposals approved by the Texas Legislature to improve education throughout the years. Knowledge in the areas of physics, chemistry, mathematics and engineering is what separates him from the opponents.
In the 2010 election, Loewe received 6.97 percent of the vote against Republican incumbent Ken Mercer and Democratic opponent Rebecca Bell-Metereau. Loewe will face off against Mercer and Bell-Metereau again this year, as well as independent candidate Irene Meyer Scharf. Loewe said he has spent roughly $50 on his campaign.
According to his website, Loewe believes teachers and professors should not be responsible for curriculum standards and textbook requirements in public schools. He believes the Board of Education should write and adopt statewide curriculum standards.
Loewe said he devised a progressive version of school choice in the 1980s in order to attract billions of additional private dollars per year into K-12 education. This plan would maximize public educational funds.
“Progressive vouchers will empower millions of parents, especially poor parents and parents of children with special needs, to reject mediocre schools and choose safe schools that would better serve the needs, abilities and interests of their children,” Loewe said.
Joseph Sadler, physics senior and member of the Young Americans for Liberty, said progressive vouchers work better in some areas than others.
“Texas is a big state,” Sadler said. “It is more dependent on different localities.”
Loewe said another issue he brought to the state legislature is the availability of low cost textbooks for students and the ability to permanently keep those books for the future.
“That adds value to the book as a familiar and reliable reference for the future so (students) can easily refer to that material in the future if they have forgotten something,” Loewe said.
Matthew Petre, District 7 libertarian candidate, said Loewe is a “nice gentleman” who, in a previous election, gave Petre guidance on the race.
“A lot of the ideas that I bring up when I do talk to people about the State Board of Education are coming directly from Mr. Loewe’s mind rather than my own,” Petre said. “I agree with him almost one hundred percent on all of the general issues.”
Petre said it is important to have a libertarian on the State Board of Education because liberty-minded thinkers are generally open-minded thinkers. He said the state needs to have education curriculum based on fact and sound science rather than religious, political or other beliefs outside the realm of reason.
Petre said he hopes people vote without the belief the political system is based upon two parties.
“We are much more than a two-party system and people need to realize they have choices out there and not just the same old status quo,” Petre said.