Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde is urging parents and staff to go out and vote in Texas’ open primary election. 

The Dallas Express reported that Dallas ISD published a news release last week by Elizalde encouraging parents and staff to head to the polls because this election is “perhaps the most important for public education in Texas history.” 

“It is our state lawmakers who decide how much funding local schools will receive, whether salaries will be increased for teachers and other district team members, and if state dollars will be re-directed to help parents pay for their children to attend private schools,” wrote Elizalde. 

She continued telling everyone to forward her email on because kids “need us to vote for them.”

“Please forward this email to everyone you know (spouses, friends, siblings, college roommates, relatives, parents, grandparents, significant others, etc.) who is eligible to vote in the March 5 Texas House primary. Do not think that others will ‘do the right thing’ on your behalf, or on behalf of our students. Remember—kids can’t vote so they need us to vote for them.”

In the blog post, Elizalde also stated that Texas has open primaries, allowing registered voters to request a Republican ballot or a Democrat ballot. In the post was also a link to a video sharing the same sentiment and telling voters that “if you care about public schools, your assignment this March is to vote.”

Christine Welborn, executive director of election security organization Advancing Integrity, told Texas Scorecard that the district urging anyone to vote in either primary, regardless of the party they align with, is just one example of why primaries need to be closed. 

“This is a great example of why we should have closed primaries,” said Welborn. “The purpose of a primary election is for people of that party to choose who best represents them, without interference from the other party.”

Elizalde is no stranger to opposing school choice. Texas Scorecard previously reported during the third legislative special session that she wrote a letter on Dallas ISD’s news blog denouncing Abbott and state leaders for calling on the legislature to pass educational freedom. 

Although Elizalde’s email doesn’t explicitly say whom to vote for, other school districts’ superintendents have sent out similar emails encouraging them to vote for pro-public school candidates. 

Last week, Castleberry Independent School District Superintendent Renee Smith-Faulkner instructed the district’s “administrative leadership team” to vote according to a voter guide from the Castleberry ISD Retired Teachers Association. In her email, she told staff to “vote accordingly” to the information given. 

Additionally, Denison ISD’s Superintendent David Kirkbride sent out an email to district employees, encouraging them to vote for candidates who “support public education” while decrying the governor’s push for school choice for Texas students.  

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has already hit multiple school districts with lawsuits for their alleged electioneering. The districts include Denton, Frisco, Denison, Castleberry, Huffman, and Aledo.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.