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Keven Ellis confirmed as SBOE Chair, appointed to Education Commission of the States

Texas Senate confirmed Ellis’s SBOE chairmanship with 31-0 vote

Austin, TEXAS – April 1, 2021 – On Wednesday, in a 31-0 vote, the Texas Senate confirmed Dr. Keven Ellis of Lufkin as chair of the State Board of Education (SBOE). Although the members of the board are elected, the Governor appoints the chair from among the 15 board members. The appointment must be confirmed by the Texas Senate.

Earlier in the week, Gov. Greg Abbott also announced the appointment of Dr. Ellis to the Education Commission of the States. As one of the Lone Star State’s seven representatives to the ECS, Ellis will assist with educational research initiatives and advocate for education policy that will directly benefit Texas’s nearly 5.5 million public school students.  

Ellis, a chiropractor in Lufkin, was first elected to the SBOE in November 2016 after serving as board president of the Lufkin Independent School District Board of Trustees. Ellis represents District 9; his SBOE district accounts for nearly 1.7 million residents in a 31-county swath of East Texas. 

In 2018, Ellis served as Vice-Chair of the Texas Commission on Public School Finance, which helped facilitate the passage of House Bill 3 (HB 3), the historic school finance bill passed by the 86th Texas Legislature. In addition, Ellis led the charge to approve the establishment of Texas’s first Mexican American and African American Studies courses for high school students, making Texas the first state in the nation to offer both courses on a statewide basis. Ellis also worked closely with the Board in crafting, and ultimately, passing the first ever revisions to the Health Education Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards.  

“As I’ve said before, serving on the State Board of Education is an honor, and to be given this position of trust as chair of the board is something I don’t take lightly,” Ellis said. “I want to thank Governor Abbott, Lt. Governor Patrick, and the Texas Senate for the trust they have placed in me. The State Board of Education plays a key role in our state’s public education system. It sets the curriculum standards, adopts instructional materials, and oversees the country’s largest education endowment. As we responsibly work our way through the Coronavirus pandemic, our decisions on behalf of the schoolchildren of Texas will carry even more weight. I pledge to continue working closely with all members of the SBOE so that we can make decisions that are worthy of our constituents and their educational needs.”