Records obtained by a Midland resident under a public information request show Midland Independent School District spent nearly $60,000 of taxpayer money on fliers, stickers, and signs as part of a campaign to promote their massive $569 million bond election.
Residents and opponents of the November bond criticized the districts’ campaigning efforts, describing the actions as “borderline electioneering” and “unethical.”
State law prohibits governmental entities from using taxpayer funds to electioneer for or against ballot measures, which is why the school district’s material just barely stopped short of expressly advocating for the bond. Instead, the campaign material skirted the rules by advertising the election dates, polling locations, heavily emphasizing the positive need for the bond, then boldly encouraging readers to “Go Vote.”
Texas Scorecard spoke with a number of MISD teachers who stated they were instructed by supervisors to send school kids home with informational fliers promoting only positive aspects of the the bond, as well as place election stickers on every child before they went home during the course of early voting and on election day.
Kristen Yadon, the Midland resident who submitted the information requests for the districts’ election spending, stated she expects to see more records from the district that will reveal even more taxpayer-funded spending on the questionable election efforts.