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Senator Betancourt Right to Warn Against Illegal Behavior by School Districts Against School Choice

The Justice Foundation will Assist Parents and Citizens in Preventing School Districts from Illegally Opposing School Choice Efforts in the Next Session of the Texas Legislature and in this Current Texas Primary Season
Contact: Allan E. Parker, Jr., J.D., The Justice Foundation, 210-614-7157, info@txjf.org

SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Dec. 20, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- Senator Paul Bettencourt recently warned school districts about and asked the Attorney General for a legal opinion on illegal efforts to get school district teachers and students to vote for measures or candidates supported by the government. Click here: centralmirror.com/texas-lawmaker-questions-education-groups-tactics-for-getting-out-the-vote/.  It is against state law for districts to use state funds to lobby the legislature or to advocate for specific legislation, ballot measures, or candidates. Tex. Gov. Code § 556.055(a).

Allan Parker, President of The Justice Foundation, Attorney, said "It is extremely important for school districts which compel attendance by law to avoid violating Texas laws by publicly advocating in a one-sided manner against school choice. School districts usually support funding only for certain students who attend public schools, and against education funding for all students in Texas, both public and private."
"School district officers and employees are prohibited from knowingly spending, or authorizing spending, of public funds on political advertising." Texas Elec. Code § 255.003.

Also, school district trustees "may not use state or local funds or other resources of the district to electioneer for or against any candidate, measure or political party." Tex. Ed. Code § 11.169.

Resources would include employee time, facilities, funds obviously, equipment and technology to support a candidate.

The Justice Foundation stands ready to assist citizens in filing complaints with the Texas Ethics Commission against school districts and public employees who do so, and we have done so in the past. Fines and penalties are available under the law against those who violate this law.