Just one week after Carroll Independent School District became the first district in the state to leave the embattled Texas Association of School Boards, trustees and state lawmakers are calling on other districts to join the battle.
Currently local taxpayer dollars are used to fund TASB membership fees and services that include training, legal advice, and insurance.
The association has also been criticized for lobbying against parents.
In January, the association advised its members to allow gender-confused students to use the restroom designated for the opposite sex and obscure a student’s preferred name and pronouns if their parents object to their “gender identity.” Last summer, TASB sponsored a conference promoting critical race theory. And in 2021, TASB declined to take any action regarding explicit books in school libraries after Gov. Greg Abbott sent them a public letter calling on them to do so.
At a press conference at the Texas Capitol on Monday, School Board Secretary Andrew Yeager celebrated the win and called on other districts to join them.
“We know inherently that monopolies are bad when left without any competition when monopolies such as TASB chose to represent …special interests over the interests of its members. I hope other school districts around the great state of Texas join us in this decision to leave TASB today; they know that they, too, have a choice. This is the way,” said Yeager.
School Board President Cameron Bryan agreed.
“Sending our communities taxpayer dollars to an organization that pushes the very ideologies that our community overwhelmingly rejected in the last three elections would be disingenuous to those that have entrusted us to represent them,” said Bryan.
“We believe competition is helpful and will result in lower prices and better services for all,” he added.
State Rep. Nate Schatzline (R–Fort Worth), who hosted the press conference, said he did so to “honor and celebrate” the district and encourage others to follow suit, calling TASB’s training “leftist indoctrination camps.”
“I think it’s important that we as legislators, and we, as the state of Texas, recognize when districts get it right,” said Schatzline.
State Rep. Brian Harrison (R–Midlothian), who has filed legislation that would prohibit school districts from contracting with taxpayer-funded lobbying organizations such as TASB, said he forwarded Carroll ISD’s resolution to every member of the Legislature “in hopes that your courage would inspire others to follow your lead.”
“While Carroll is the first ISD in 30 years to leave the Texas Association of School Boards—mark my words—they will not be the last. I predict and celebrate the fact that TASB will never again be able to say that they represent every school board in the state of Texas,” said Harrison.
“The leftist policies and agenda of the Texas Association of School Boards doesn’t represent a collective moral vision of the state, nor does it at all represent the values of the hardworking taxpayers and families of Texas,” said Cain.
TASB has not taken the effort lightly, however, sending school district attorneys a letter threatening to sue districts that leave the organization. School Board President Cameron Bryan offered to help other districts looking to leave the organization.
“When we at Carroll had that vote, people started coming out of the woodwork in terms of businesses. ‘How can we help you? What services do you need?’ We are ready and willing to give you a cost-share approach to obtain that service,” said Bryan.