Charles Butt, whose personal fortune comes courtesy of the H-E-B grocery store chain started by his family, wants to deny parents the right to be more involved in their kids’ education. His tool for promoting wretched public policy is the “Parent PAC.”
Since the primary mission of Butts’ PAC is to deny parents and kids better educational opportunities, the name is both erroneous and ironic. The PAC was started by a group of school administrators and generally lines up with the Texas chapter of the AFL-CIO affiliated “American Federation of Teachers” union group.
In recent weeks, conservative lawmakers like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have been increasing their calls for significant reforms to public education that would empower parents over bureaucracies.
According to Kimberly Reeves, a freelance writer for the liberal Austin gossip blog Quorum Report, the group is upset by “the traction” Patrick has received for his plans regarding education reform.
Via email, Reeves told Texas Scorecard that AFT is helping Parent PAC raise funds in advance of the March 1 primary by sending fundraising messages as part of their “legislative blast on Jan. 23.”
Reeves said that the “Parent PAC” plea for funding went out under the title “R.I.P. Public Education?” last week.
The PAC is using the standard liberal doom-and-gloom scare tactics about the death of public education (“hostile closures and takeovers of neighborhood schools”), and blaming businessmen for asking too many questions about the inefficiencies found in government-run bureaucracies.
Butts’ organization is trying to lay blame for the renewed interest of taxpayers on educational efficiency at the feet of two separate organizations, Empower Texans and Texans for Education Reform. (TER is loosely affiliated with the pro-business Texans for Lawsuit Reform.)
Unfortunately for Texans, Butts’ Parent PAC and TER don’t fight with each other enough. Both support the Austin cartel of Democrats and liberal Republicans that have thwarted the education reform movement in the Texas House.
In 2012, 84 percent of Texas GOP primary voters supported a ballot question calling for educational choice by creating scholarships for kids in grades K-12. Last session an education choice bill passed out of the Texas Senate, but was killed by the House leadership when they refused to even give it a hearing before the Ways and Means Committee.