Organizations around the state are working to undermine public education in Texas. After thirty years of controlling all of the top state positions, it is time for the Republicans to go.
It is important that we are informed and support the people and organizations doing the work to uncover the chicanery of anti-public education fanatics. Below is an excerpt from an expose by Forrest Wilder in the Texas Monthly, published October 18, 2022.
Early voting in Texas is Oct 24-Nov 4. Election Day is Nov 8th. The address on your driver's license does NOT need to match your current address. It is used for identification only.
Inside the Secret Plan to Bring Private School Vouchers to Texas
Political operatives descended on the Hill Country town of Wimberley with a scheme to send taxpayer dollars to private schools. Now they’re shopping the same blueprint elsewhere.
The proposal landed on Greg Bonewald’s desk like a pipe bomb. Bonewald, a soft-spoken career educator, had served as a teacher, coach, and principal in the fast-growing Hill Country town of Wimberley for fifteen years. In 2014, he took a bigger job as an assistant superintendent in Victoria, about two hours to the southeast. But he maintained an affection for Wimberley, and when its school board sought to bring him back as superintendent this year, he was thrilled. His honeymoon would be short.
In a document obtained by Texas Monthly, stamped “Confidential” and dated May 3—the day after Bonewald was named the sole finalist for the job—a Republican political operative and a politically connected charter-school executive laid out an explosive proposal for “Wimberly [sic] ISD.” (Out-of-towners frequently misspell “Wimberley,” much to the annoyance of locals.) Apparently, the plan had been in the works for months and had been vetted by the outgoing superintendent. But Bonewald said no one had bothered to mention it to him.
One of the authors of the plan was Aaron Harris, a Fort Worth–based GOP consultant who has made a name for himself by stoking—with scant evidence—fears of widespread voter fraud. In June, he cofounded a nonprofit called Texans for Education Rights Institute, along with Monty Bennett, a wealthy Dallas hotelier who dabbles in what he regards as education reform. The other author was Kalese Whitehurst, an executive with the charter school chain Responsive Education Solutions, based in Lewisville, a half hour north of Dallas.
Their confidential proposal went like this: Wimberley would partner with Harris and Bennett’s Texans for Education Rights Institute to create a charter school tentatively dubbed the Texas Achievement Campus. But “campus” was a misnomer, because there would be none. The school would exist only on paper. Texans for Education Rights would then work with ResponsiveEd, Whitehurst’s group, to place K–12 students from around the state into private schools of their choice at “no cost.
The scheme was complex but it pursued a simple goal: turning taxpayer dollars intended for public education into funds for private schools. The kids would be counted as Wimberley ISD students enrolled at the Achievement Campus, thus drawing significant money to the district. (In Texas, public schools receive funding based in large part on how many students attend school each day.) But the tax dollars their “attendance” brought to the district would be redirected to private institutions across the state.
The plan was backed not only by an out-of-town Republican operative and a charter-school chain with links to Governor Greg Abbott, but by a Wimberley-based right-wing provocateur who bills himself as a “systemic disruption consultant.” Texas education commissioner Mike Morath—an Abbott appointee—also seemed to support the deal.
Read the complete article at https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-politics/inside-the-secret-plan-to-bring-private-school-vouchers-to-texas/
- Oct 22nd (Sat): Blockwalk for Public Ed (Beto, Lina, and Michelle Palmer), 10 am-12 pm. Meet at 5206 B Hershe in Fifth Ward. RSVP here.
- Nov 1 (Tue) March for gun safety: Meet at Antioch Park downtown at 5 pm. More details and RSVP here.
- Nov 12( Sat): CVPE Meeting- State Lege Preview w/Rep Alma Allen and how to make a public ed video for social media, 1-2:30 pm RSVP here.
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