Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

A Big Shoutout to Texas Voters: School Choice Wins Big!

Samantha Parker By Samantha Parker Jun1,2024 #finance

Let’s kick off the weekend on a positive note. School choice scored a major victory in Texas including criminal incitements for illegal use of public funds. Chicago is another matter.

Texas school-district officials are charged with unlawfully using public funds for electioneering reports the WSJ in A Campaign Against School Choice Prompts Criminal Charges

Texas Republican voters sent a clear Super Tuesday message to opponents of education freedom within their party. Ten incumbents who are against school choice were either defeated or forced into runoffs in their primary elections. The results are a clear example of ballot-box accountability for career politicians who put the demands of special interests over the needs of families.

School choice won even as its enemies used taxpayer resources to fight it. This scandal was first exposed by a whistleblower at the Denton County Independent School District who leaked school administrators’ internal emails directing staff how to vote in the Republican primary. The order? Take down candidates who support school choice. Staff were even told that Texas schoolteachers wouldn’t receive raises if the wrong candidates won (an ironic claim, given that the failed 2023 school-choice bill included a $4,000 bonus for public-school teachers). Such electioneering by school districts and administrators is a crime in Texas—a Class A misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $4,000 and up to a year in jail.

Attorney General Ken Paxton swiftly sued the district, alleging violations of the state election code’s prohibition on the use of taxpayer resources for political advertising. As allegations of similar conduct came to light across the state over the following week, Mr. Paxton filed lawsuits against five other school districts. But the state attorney general can bring only civil suits to prevent future violations. A 2021 decision of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals held that only local district or county attorneys can prosecute election violations criminally.

Denton County residents took matters into their own hands. Working with the Liberty Justice Center, a libertarian public-interest law firm, voters took advantage of a little-used provision of Texas law empowering registered voters to trigger a mandatory criminal investigation into the use of government funds for political purposes by submitting affidavits to the local district attorney. A few weeks later the Denton County district attorney obtained an indictment against two administrators named in Mr. Paxton’s lawsuit. Jesús and Lindsay Luján, married elementary school principals, are scheduled for arraignment in Denton County Criminal Court on May 13. They haven’t commented publicly on the charges.

Although it’s an open secret that this kind of activity has been going on unchecked for years throughout the state, it’s the first time an indictment has been handed up for school districts illegally influencing elections in Texas. It won’t be the last. Voters in Harris County have launched an effort to investigate the superintendent of the Huffman Independent School District for allegedly similar illegal conduct. Liberty Justice Center has referred those affidavits to the chief prosecutor of the public corruption division in Harris County.

The same kind of activity happens all across the nation with Chicago being the worst of the lot.

Chicago Teachers’ Union Seeks $50 Billion Despite $700 Million City Deficit

I discussed illegal pandering by teachers and the union is my March 13 post Chicago Teachers’ Union Seeks $50 Billion Despite $700 Million City Deficit

In an email announcing the event, CTU Vice President Jackson Potter noted the union is “partnering” with Bring Chicago Home, culminating in a “Parade to the Polls, where students will march to an early voting site.”

Bring Chicago Home is the leading political advocacy organization campaigning in favor of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s $100 million real estate transfer tax increase referendum, which appears on the March 19 ballot. The union has contributed at least $200,000 to Bring Chicago Home.

18-year old students were dismissed from class and bussed or walked to voting booths to vote for tax hikes.

I am pleased to report the Bring Chicago Home referendum failed by a 53-47 percent margin after after vote-by-mail ballots counted.

Brandon Johnson is the worst mayor in Chicago history, and that’s saying quite a bit.

Chicago Sun Times Poll

  • Only 7% of those surveyed rated Johnson’s performance as mayor as “excellent” with another 14% rating it as “good.” The remaining 69% either rated Johnson’s performance “only fair” (27%) or “poor” (43%) or said they “didn’t know” (10%).
  • Among Black men, 14% rated Johnson’s performance as “excellent or good,” with 67% branding the work he’s done as mayor as “fair or poor.”
  • Johnson got a “fair or poor” job rating from 75% of white registered voters surveyed and 69% of Latinos questioned.

One of the reasons covered in the Sun Times Poll was school choice.

Several questions centered on Johnson’s hand-picked school board deciding to, as the poll put it, “transition away from Chicago’s network of selective-enrollment magnet and charter schools in order to increase enrollment in neighborhood schools.”

Johnson Approval Near Record Low

The above graph from the Illinois Policy Institute.

“Equity” Reimagined

Please consider a case of “Equity” Reimagined in the Windy City

Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson’s December 14 decision to eliminate the city’s 11 selective public high schools, which use standardized tests to determine student admissions, is the latest example of this new notion of equity at play.

Chicago Will Ruin Some of the Top Schools in the Country

On December 23, 2023, I noted Citing “Equity”, Chicago Will Ruin Some of the Top Schools in the Country

Ahead of the Chicago mayoral election, I warned Brandon Johnson was 100% beholden to the teacher’s union. Unfortunately, I was correct.

In the name of “equity” no student will have a good chance get ahead.

Not Just Chicago

On November 13 ,2023 I noted School Choice Dies in Illinois, Congratulations Teachers as 35% Read at Grade Level

Scores for public schools were just released and showed only 35% of students in grades 3 through 8 could read at grade level in 2023, according to the Illinois Report Card. Only 27% met proficiency in math.

High school juniors taking the SAT posted similar proficiency: 32% could read and 27% do math at grade level.

What Equity is Really About

Also in the name of “equity”, the teacher’s union and Gov. J.B. Pritzker killed scholarships for 9,600 poor children.

That’s how deep rot is in Illinois. Offering a chance for even 9,600 kids to get ahead is too much for the unions to handle.

School Choice Campaign Issue

School Choice is universally liked by everyone but Progressive mayors, Progressive governors, and teachers’ unions.

Trump needs to embrace school choice loud and clear. It’s definitely a winning campaign message.

Samantha Parker

By Samantha Parker

Samantha is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth behind the headlines. With years of experience in investigative reporting, she has covered a wide range of topics including politics, crime, and entertainment. Her in-depth analysis and commitment to factual accuracy make her a respected voice in the field of journalism.

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2 thoughts on “A Big Shoutout to Texas Voters: School Choice Wins Big!”
  1. How exactly did the school administrators attempt to influence the election? Was there any legal action taken against them?

  2. School choice was clearly favored by Texas Republican voters, sending a strong message to opponents of education freedom within the party. The results demonstrate the accountability at the ballot box for career politicians who prioritize special interests over families’ needs. The scandal involving illegal use of taxpayer resources to fight school choice, as revealed by a whistleblower, highlights the unethical tactics used. Such electioneering by school districts and administrators is a serious crime in Texas.

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