Home We the People Transparency Prohibit use of tax dollars for engaging a registered lobbyist for schools districts

Prohibit use of tax dollars for engaging a registered lobbyist for schools districts

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  • Prohibit use of tax dollars for engaging a registered lobbyist for schools districts

    Started by Greg Abbott

    Prohibit the use of tax dollars for the purpose of engaging a registered lobbyist to lobby on the behalf of a school district or the board or association thereof.

    School districts should directly represent the needs of their communities before the legislature, and not waste taxpayer resources on lobbyists. School district leadership must not rely on lobbyists to do the work voters elected them to do. These leaders are elected or appointed in part to vigorously represent and defend their constituents – the hiring of lobbyists to meet this same goal is superfluous. School districts are funded by the state through the school finance formulas. By contrast, Teachers Associations are funded by dues. Utilizing state tax dollars to hire private lobbyists to influence the state (and its budgetary priorities) is an abuse of the public trust.

    The Texas Ethics Commission notes that several school districts and associations thereof spent a significant amount on lobbyists during the 83rd Legislative Session. These include:

    • Texas Association of School Boards spent as much as $400,000.
    • Houston Independent School District spent as much as $245,000.
    • Texas Association of School Administrators spent as much as $175,000.

    It is, in part, the legality of lobbyists for the entrenched interests of school districts that makes meaningful reform of Texas’ public education system so difficult. These expenditures of taxpayer funds to hire private lobbyists to influence taxpayer-funded government officials should be prohibited.

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