School & District Management

Texas High School Senior Defeats Incumbent to Win School Board Seat

By Corey Mitchell — May 08, 2017 1 min read
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An 18-year-old high school senior has unseated a two-term incumbent to win a school board seat in a suburban Texas district.

Mike Floyd will replace Rusty DeBorde on the seven-member board of the Pearland Independent schools, a 21,000-student district just south of Houston.

Floyd captured 54 percent of the vote on Saturday to beat DeBorde, who won 45 percent.

“We were the underdog in every way imaginable. My local Congressman endorsed my opponent. My state representative endorsed my opponent,” Floyd told television station KHOU.

In March, the Houston Chronicle reported that Floyd ran because the district’s superintendent publicly questioned “whether transgender children should be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.”

In the run-up to the election, DeBorde told the Chronicle that he was concerned about Floyd’s lack of experience.

“When you get down to it, you have to ask: Is he qualified? Is that who you want to run a $160 million-plus budget and all the other things that go into the school district?” DeBorde told the newspaper. “When I was 18, I think I had a checkbook for a year or two and was still learning to manage that.”

Floyd will surely stick out on Pearland’s school board. At least five of the current members have children who are enrolled in district schools or already have already graduated from the system.

School districts across the county have student representatives, usually nonvoting members, on the school board, but Floyd will serve as an elected official. He will take office May 23, three days before he graduates from Dawson High School. KHOU reports that he plans to attend the University of Houston in the fall.

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.