Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Aledo Independent School District for illegally using official resources for electioneering purposes.

According to the lawsuit filed Friday, Aledo ISD Superintendent of Schools Susan Bohn and/or the Board of Trustees allowed an email from the district’s communication account to be sent to Aledo ISD recipients discussing both the budget and how the results of the primary election would impact schools.

Part of the Feb. 20 email reads “that our state leaders, with our governor leading the charge, prioritized taxpayer-funded private/home school vouchers over funding your Aledo ISD schools. This happened even though enough legislators opposed vouchers to vote them down repeatedly for decades and again in 2023.”

The email also read “Bearcats [Aledo ISD mascot] VOTE! Your Aledo public schools are on the ballot starting TODAY!”

“The decisions made by those on this Primary Election ballot affect you DAILY as evidenced by the budget shortfalls discussed at the top of this email,” it continued.

Aledo ISD was accused in the lawsuit of violating Education Code § 11.169, which prohibits the use of official resources to electioneer for or against any political candidate, measure, or party.

However, Aledo ISD denied that its email constitutes illegal electioneering.

A March 1 website post made in response to the lawsuit states that “State law prohibits school district officials from using public resources to advocate for or against any candidate, measure, or political party, and, after consulting with our legal counsel, it is clear that the email cited by the OAG in the suit did not constitute electioneering.”

Paxton simultaneously sued Huffman ISD for using state resources to interfere in political races—which constitutes illegal electioneering.

“During a school meeting at Hargrave High School, the Huffman ISD Superintendent instructed faculty to vote for 16 specific politicians who supported certain policies,” Paxton’s press release stated. “Additionally, when school staff asked for a list of those endorsed politicians they had been told to vote for, the superintendent said that a Huffman ISD administrator would distribute it. Aledo ISD officials also used school resources to promote certain political policies and measures.”

Such actions directly violated the Texas Election Code’s prohibition against the use of ‘state or local funds or other resources of the district to electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, or political party,’ it added.

Huffman ISD did not respond to requests for comment by Texas Scorecard.

Will Biagini

Will was born in Louisiana and raised in a military family. He currently serves as a journalist with Texas Scorecard. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for Campus Reform.