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ISAACKS, MAUD

ISAACKS, MAUD (1885?–1980). Maud Isaacks, teacher and state legislator, daughter of Samuel Jackson and Minnie (Rutledge) Isaacks, was born near Austin, Texas. She moved to El Paso in 1916 and began a long teaching career in the public school system. She taught at El Paso Junior High from 1916 to 1921 and at El Paso Senior High from 1927 until 1954; from 1940 to 1954 she was chairman of the English Department. She was also a member of the state textbook committee. She earned a B.A. from the University of Texas in 1927 and an M.A. in 1940.

In 1954, when ill-health forced her father to resign the seat he had held in the Texas House of Representatives for more than fifty years, Maud Isaacks won the special election to fill his place. She took a leave of absence from the classroom to complete her father's term and was returned in the regular election in July. She was one of only five women in the House that session. She resigned from the El Paso school system on January 1, 1955, to take her seat in the legislature and was elected to five more consecutive terms. During her legislative career she served on the education, penitentiaries, public health, school districts, state hospitals, and special schools committees. As a former teacher, she was especially concerned with legislation for the public schools. She supported raising teachers' salaries, eliminating the office of county superintendent of schools in areas where independent school districts had been established, and raising academic standards in public schools and colleges. Her bill to trim the number of education courses required of potential teachers was strongly opposed by the Texas State Teachers Association, which successfully lobbied for its defeat. Isaacks also supported legislation to tighten insurance controls, strengthen narcotics regulations, and establish statewide soil and water conservation programs. She sponsored bills to lengthen the waiting period for divorce and to abolish the poll tax. In 1961 she was appointed to the Special Interim Committee on Education, which consulted with the Texas Legislative Council in its study of teacher certification.

She was the only woman in the Fifty-ninth Legislature when she retired at age eighty, at the conclusion of the 1966 session. She died in El Paso on January 22, 1980, and was buried there in Evergreen Cemetery.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

El Paso Times, January 24, 1980. "Texas Women: A Celebration of History" Archives, Texas Woman's University, Denton. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who of American Women (1966–67).

Judith N. McArthur

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Judith N. McArthur, "ISAACKS, MAUD," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fis07), accessed December 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.