Public School Lobby Electioneering with Tax Dollars
The Texas attorney general has issued an opinion in response to a request from a state senator on the legality of Texas public schools using taxpayer time and resources to electioneer in the upcoming Republican primary.
The controversial measure that has been adopted by many public school boards is reminiscent of the methods of organizing and providing transportation to the polls used by unions.
In this instance, the schools are discussing providing transportation for students and employees eligible to vote. Public education groups appear prepared to move forward with their plans in spite of the attorney general’s opinion, which is non-binding.
Straus Urging Public School Educators to Run for Office
State House Speaker Joe Straus (who has announced he will not seek re-election and was censured by the Republican Party of Texas) recently has called on public school educators to run for the Texas legislature against conservative Republicans who support school reform measures and educational choice. Straus was in open conflict with Governor Abbott during the legislative session and even referred to Governor Abbott’s list of priorities for legislation in the special session as “horse manure.”
Straus was the main obstacle to the passage of education reform in 2017 and with his retirement this year, the possibility of substantial reform in 2019 is now on the horizon.
Democrats to Vote in Republican Primaries?
Many from the education lobby are now calling for Democratic voters among their ranks to vote in the Republican primary instead in order to defeat conservative candidates.
One statewide elected official has said that he has never seen such an effort by public education lobby groups.
Homeschool Votes Can Determine the Election
Another official said that homeschoolers are the best-organized and the most active private school community in the state and that a high turnout of homeschoolers in the Republican primary could thwart the effort of the public school lobby to defeat conservative legislators in March’s primary.
Homeschoolers have a huge effect in the Republican primary election. Homeschoolers can literally determine the outcome of the election.
With a traditionally low total voter turnout in the primary, it is critical for homeschoolers to turnout and vote in favor of homeschool-friendly candidates.
For a list of candidates in your area who have been vetted and endorsed by THSC as strong homeschool supporters, visit THSC.org/Endorsements.
We believe that homeschooling is the best education model for children and that families have the God-given right to raise their children as they see fit. We believe in Keeping Texas Families Free.
Despite concerted efforts from anti-family groups to brand homeschooling as a haven for abusers, there are hundreds of thousands of amazing homeschool families who demonstrate the reasons why this movement is the fastest-growing educational alternative and has been sweeping the country for 30 years!
Many people decide to homeschool their children because they have personally met incredible families who teach their children at home.
One Texas mother told me that she decided to teach her children at home because of meeting a homeschooled young man and thinking to herself: “This is what I want my son to be like.” And we hear stories like this all the time.
President Trump shared another great example of homeschooling at the State of the Union address. He highlighted the heartwarming and inspiring story of Albuquerque police officer Ryan Holets and his wife Rebecca, who adopted the baby of a young woman who was struggling with drug addiction.
What President Trump did not say is that Ryan and Rebecca are both products of homeschooling and are also homeschooling their children. The Holets are a fine example of the many amazing families across this great country who sacrificially teach their children at home.
Even though homeschooling has become more and more mainstream and studies show that it really works, Texas public school officials and groups continue to show animosity toward homeschooling.
This animosity has become more apparent in this election cycle as public school unions and associations are making an unprecedented effort to get public school employees to vote in the Republican primary—in spite of the fact that 79 percent of the employees are Democrats.
Nowhere is this more of an issue than in the Republican primary election for Texas Senate District 2. Sen. Bob Hall has been acknowledged as the most conservative senator in the Texas Senate. He has been a champion for families and homeschoolers and that, of course, is why we support him. It should come as no surprise that the unions are supporting his opponent.
Not only did Hall’s opponent oppose our efforts to pass legislation protecting families, she actively worked to pass legislation empowering CPS to make home visits to families without cause, based only on ambiguous factors of supposed risk. She even voted against efforts to limit abortion of special needs babies after 20 weeks. This is the kind of candidate that unions support.
This primary election is critical for Texas families. The liberal unions only need one or two victories in the Texas Senate to undermine the conservative agenda of Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick. In fact, the effort by government employee unions is focused on defeating several Texas House members as well.
Texas homeschoolers must respond to this threat to our freedom by voting for pro-family, pro-homeschool candidates.
Here are two things you can do to mobilize a strategic response against these threats:
Volunteer to poll greet for a pro-family candidate in your area! Take your kids with you to a voting location assigned by a campaign, greet the voters who come to vote, and hand them information about the candidate. You would be amazed how many voters rely on this information to make their decision. Take 15 seconds to fill out the form linked below and we will let you know which local campaigns need your help most.
Vote during early voting from Feb. 20-Mar. 2. You can also vote on election day, Mar. 6. To find a local polling location, please visit: www.VoteTexas.gov/Voting/Where. Visit THSC.org/Endorsements to find pro-family, pro-homeschool candidates who will fight for your family’s liberty!
We believe that families raising their children is a God-given right and that parents should be empowered to raise the next generation of leaders. Waiting until the next legislative session to protect these rights is not an option—we must take action now!
I have written and talked about the potential risk facing Texas homeschoolers due to the national effort underway to regulate homeschooling based on the the Turpin abuse case in California. This coupled with the concerted effort by public school unions to get Democratic voters to vote in the Republican primary against pro-family candidates could be the making of a perfect storm for Texas families and homeschoolers.
Some have questioned our call to action and whether or not there is a real risk because no one has yet filed such legislation in Texas or even publicly discussed doing so. I responded to those comments by pointing out that waiting until that time is too late.
Review the videos of debate on the floor of the Texas House last year regarding legislation that would have seriously put families at risk. It is not a stretch to believe that legislation regulating homeschooling could be filed next year.
The time to take action against this threat is now! A report on the first few days of early voting indicate that there may be over 10% of Democratic voters in the Republican primary. That is enough to swing a close campaign!
In the last two election cycles, some legislative races have been decided by as few as two dozen votes.
Voter turnout will be the key in how many of these races are decided—and how they are decided could literally affect homeschool freedoms in Texas. Remember that the goal of the public school lobby is to defeat candidates who support educational freedom for Texas families!
I earnestly urge you to vote early and to support candidates endorsed by Texas Home School Coalition. You can find a list of pro-family candidates here.
Please encourage your family and friends to vote as well. Our success in electing candidates will directly affect our ability to protect the freedom of families in next year’s legislative session!
We believe that families raising their children is a God-given right and that the best place for children is in a home with loving parents. Now is the time for action!