A recently unearthed newsletter from last fall appears to confirm that outgoing State Rep. Glenn Rogers of Graford worked with school district officials to engage in electioneering prior to the March 5 Republican primary.

The article was obtained by Texas Scorecard through an open records request to Garner Independent School District. It was included in the Fall 2023 issue of the district’s news mailer, which is distributed to parents and school faculty.

Texas Scorecard previously reported on text messages provided via an open records request to Breckenridge ISD showing Rogers sharing an almost identical article with school administrators in an iMessage group chat.

In those leaked messages, one school administrator—presumably with Garner ISD—alluded to a version of Rogers’ article that was published in the newsletter.

The version Rogers shared in the 14-member group chat was published online in the Palo Pinto Press under the title “Vouchers are not conservative,” while the Garner ISD version was titled “Why I Oppose School Vouchers?”

In both, Rogers framed school choice as a “trojan horse attempt to privatize Texas’ education system, and drain our already underfunded public education of necessary resources for millions of children.”

However, the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute found that Texas public education expenditures have risen $33 billion between 2012 and 2022, with per-pupil spending increasing by $5,500 over that same period.

“One of the great myths in Texas is that public education is underfunded,” the group wrote on X. “To the contrary, through the legislature and local governments, taxpayers have amply funded public education no matter how you frame it. The real story is one of misallocated resources.”

Rogers also repeatedly framed private schools as “unaccountable” to Texas education authorities. Despite this claim, private schools in Texas go through the same rigorous accreditation process as public schools.

Garner ISD’s actions could constitute a violation of Texas’ election code, which dictates that state officials or employees “of a political subdivision” cannot “knowingly spend or authorize the spending of public funds for political advertising.”

In addition, school district board members are barred from using state or local funds “to electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, or political party.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton has been active this year in pursuing electioneering cases. His office has filed civil lawsuits against seven school districts for allegedly engaging in electioneering during the recent primary election.

The districts under fire are Hutto, Denton, Frisco, Denison, Castleberry, Huffman, and Aledo.

Rogers was one of 21 Republican lawmakers who voted to kill a school choice package last Fall. Only 16 of them decided to run for reelection, and six—including Rogers—were defeated on March 5. Another four have been forced into runoffs, which are set to occur on May 28.

Conservative activist Mike Olcott, running on a platform of expanding school choice, beat Rogers 62 percent to 38 percent for House District 60—spanning the Palo Pinto, Parker, and Stephens counties.

“If the parents are sending their kids to any particular private school and they’re not performing, that private school will go out of business, and so that’s the way the free market works,” Olcott told CBS News in early February.

Olcott has no Democrat opponent in the November general election.

Glenn Rogers did not respond to Texas Scorecard‘s request for comment before publication.

Garner ISD did not respond to Texas Scorecard‘s request for comment before publication.

Luca Cacciatore

Luca H. Cacciatore is a journalist for Texas Scorecard. He is an American Moment inaugural fellow and former welder.