Here we are, less than 20 days out from the start of early voting. In the next few weeks, the Texas Parent PAC has
threatened promised to release at least 25 endorsements in legislative races across the state, and they started with one of the obvious ones, Trent Ashby, the challenger in HD 57.
We won’t know where Parent PAC is spending their money for a few days yet, when the 30-day reports are filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. However, we can dig into where they’re getting their money, and once again, it is obvious that an organization that is supposedly all about parents is really about bureaucracy.
I took a look at their January semi-annual report today, and found the following gems:
– “Small” donations (less than $50) account for about 1/10th of their total contributions.
– HEB head honcho Charles Butts continues to be the major funder.
– Superintendents pepper the list, including Round Rock ISD’s Jesus Chavez (now making over $300k per year in salary and benefits, while presiding over a district academic decline)
– Former State Senator Bill Ratliff is a major donor.
– “Superintendent”, “consultant,” and “educator” are the primary occupations of Parent PAC’s donors in the last cycle.
This isn’t a new trend with this organization. It has long enjoyed the support of Butts, for instance, and superintendents in particular seem to find it supports their goals. Of the districts represented in the latest report, six are suing the state over school finance, and Tornillo ISD’s board of trustees voted to support the lawsuits but hasn’t spent the money to sign on officially.
The onslaught of endorsements expected in the coming days from the Texas Parent PAC will be extremely useful in making a crucial choice in May. The candidates hand-picked by school superintendents to find ways to pick our pockets clean “for the children,” or those fighting for efficiency in the budget process and in school finance that will benefit all Texans.