Companies that have pushed for more taxpayer debt are now reported to have been buying classroom supplies for teachers.

As previously reported by Texas Scorecard, a number of companies have joined a construction company in financing the “Vote For Keller ISD” political action committee, which is promoting a $315 million bond for the Keller Independent School District. These hundreds of millions would be added onto the $1 billion debt (principal plus interest) Keller ISD property taxpayers already owe. For the student enrollment of 2017-2018, the current and new debt combined would total close to $40,000 per student.

Each of these companies would likely stand to profit from contracts should the bond pass, and it looks like putting money into a pro-bond PAC isn’t their only marketing strategy.

Now, Texas Scorecard has obtained screenshots of tweets from Keller ISD employees showing how VLK Architects, North Texas Contracting, and “an anonymous friend of Keller ISD” gifted these employees school supplies for the school year.

North Texas Contracting has recently donated to the pro-bond “Vote For Keller ISD” PAC for this year’s bond election going before the voters in the school district. VLK Architects, however, donated to the pro-bond “Vote Yes For Keller Schools” PAC that promoted the previous bond in 2014.

Each of these tweets shows items ranging from cleaning supplies and Sharpies to charging stations for Google Chromebooks. School district employees such as teachers, librarians, and counselors expressed gratitude to the companies for providing the supplies; many tweeted using the hashtag #KISDClearTheLists.

The hashtag refers to earlier tweets by school district employees sharing their wish lists for supplies on Amazon. In fact, it appears to be part of a nationwide campaign for teachers to get all the supplies they say they need for their classrooms.

In this situation with Keller ISD, the gifts from VLK Architects and North Texas Contracting give the appearance that the companies are hoping to sway the school district’s employees more to the pro-bond side by buying their classroom supplies.

Early voting is underway through November 1. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.