A candidate for the Board of Trustees in Richardson Independent School District is backed by far-left educational organization that supports boys playing girls sports.  

Amanda Clair, a former teacher and currently an academic director for The New Teacher Project, an organization that partners with schools to help them achieve their goals, sent this advertisement to residents: “Richardson ISD doesn’t have Republican schools or Democrat schools. We just have community schools.”

“It’s…important to pay attention to the word ‘community schools,’” said Richardson resident and education activist Lynn Davenport. “That is a euphemism for a model of wraparound services where schools are no longer about education. Don’t buy what she’s selling.”

Despite her “community” marketing, recent campaign contribution filings show that Clair is being financed by a large out-of-state left-leaning organization. She received $35,000 from Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) based in Washington D.C. The liberal LEE supports allowing boys to play in girls’ sports in public schools. LEE says they work to “grow the movement” by training members to run for political office and promote “educational equity” in schools.  

Clair has raised just under $39,500, leaving only $4,400—11 percent—from individuals. Her opponent Chris Poteet has claimed over $15,000 in donations.  

Clair’s campaign filings also show that the campaign is using Democracy Engine, a firm that helps with campaign donations and partners with websites like Donald Donates, Give Green, and Daily Kos. The founder of Democracy Engine is Jonathan Zucker, the former executive director of ActBlue, a Democrat fundraising organization.  

LEE was founded by the same person that founded Teach for America: Wendy Kopp. Teach for America was designed to put teachers in low performing schools that needed qualified teachers. According to a 2019 article:

Kopp established LEE in 2006 to help Teach For America alumni gain power, including by giving to their political campaigns. Although the two organizations operate independently, they share office space, and Teach For America donates millions of dollars to LEE each year through an intermediary foundation. Only Teach For America alumni can be LEE “members,” entitling them to free training on leadership development, civic engagement and other topics.

Citizens will decide between Clair and Poteet in the runoff election on June 5. 

Tera Collum

Tera Collum has 13 years experience as a government and economics teacher in Texas public schools. She recently was the director of The Travis Institute of Educational Policy and Teachers for Texas.

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