Come next year, children in one San Antonio-area school district will be packing their bookbags and heading to Joe Straus Middle School.

Northside Independent School District, the largest school district in the San Antonio area and the fourth-largest in the State of Texas, will soon be home to a middle school bearing the name of the controversial former Speaker of the Texas House.

The decision came after a vote of school board trustees in June. 

Taking power in 2009 through the result of a Democrat-led coup against Republican Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland, Straus spent almost a decade obstructing and subverting the will of Republican primary voters and the party platform—killing efforts to protect life, gun rights, and limit government from coming to the floor of the Texas House.

After the Republican Caucus passed bylaws to elect a unified Republican candidate for speaker, Straus was forced to call it quits, leaving the post—and the legislature—after 10 years behind the gavel.

Since leaving the Legislature, Straus has continued his political activism, creating the Texas Forever Forward PAC and seeding his effort with an initial $2.5 million investment left over from his campaign coffers. The PAC has so far been used exclusively to help bankroll his establishment allies in the Texas House, as well as moderate Republican candidates.

Most recently, Straus was added to the board of directors of the Republican State Leadership Committee, a puzzling decision given the fact that during his tenure, Straus lost 18 seats in the Texas House and even managed to lose seats after redistricting despite holding a Republican majority, raising serious questions about his ability to grow a Republican majority nationwide.

Straus Middle School is scheduled to open for the 2021-2022 school year and will be Northside ISD’s 21st middle school. There is no word yet on what the mascot will be.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens