Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a former talk show host in Texas (the Texas version of Rush Limbaugh), hates public schools. He hates people who work in public schools. As a member of the State Senate, he has introduced voucher legislation year after year, only to see it blocked by Republicans in the House, allied with urban Democrats. view article arw

A hollow 2017 pay-raise proposal recycled on 2018 campaign trail - Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is running for re-election this year and recycling a claim he made in last year’s special legislative session that he proposed a $10,000 average pay raise for teachers. He did indeed hold a press conference on the eve of that special session last July touting a pay-raise plan, but it turned out to be a hollow public-relations stunt. We said so at the time, expressing our disappointment with Patrick’s idea in this July 13 press release from Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro:       view article arw

AUSTIN — Dan Patrick and Scott Milder both say they want to reform taxes and public education. Both claim to be the better defender of Texas business interests. Both are proud Christians who found their faith later in life, one baptized in the River Jordan, the other in the Red Sea.Both are Republicans. One is lieutenant governor and the other wants his job. But despite these similarities, the two men couldn’t be less alike. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and his allies are picking sides in primary races that will likely decide who fills the 31-person Texas Senate. The GOP is so dominant in Texas that the real fight for power is in the primary. It’s rare that sitting state leaders pick a side in their own party primaries but this year both Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott are putting resources behind their brand of Republican.  The outcome of these races will determine how easy it is to pass policies capping local property tax growth and allowing families to use state dollars for private schools. view article arw

Texas Schools are Counting on You!

February 2105:00 AM

Make plans to vote in the Texas primary election. Early voting is February 20–March 2. Election day is March 6. read more arw

Read! - At a lanky six-foot-four, Michael Quinn Sullivan is hard to miss around the Capitol. And even when he’s not there, it can feel like the specter of him still is. As president and CEO of Empower Texans, he has been an organizational force among the tea party groups of Texas, feeding them misinformation about state politicians. The man is known as Mucus (a play on his initials, MQS) because he engages in yucky deceptive politics, with a win-at-any-cost philosophy.  view article arw

In his first public comments since last week's Florida school shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday called for fixing the federal background check database for gun buyers and identifying mental health issues that could lead to gun violence. “It’s clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and everybody in every state must take action,” Abbott told reporters in Austin after voting early in the GOP primary. view article arw

In a busy primary season, races for the Texas House and Senate have drawn some of the most attention this year, with more than a dozen open seats drawing multiple candidates and incumbents across the ballot hoping to fend off spirited challengers. Below are snapshots of some of the most interesting legislative primaries. Early voting for the March 6 primary started Feb. 20. To see all the statewide and legislative races on the ballot, click here. view article arw

Texas will conduct its 2018 primary elections March 6 — the first state in the country to do so — and hundreds of candidates across the state have filed to run for public office. Below are those who have filed for the Democratic and Republican primaries for statewide, congressional, legislative and county offices in East Texas.  All ballots will include statewide candidates; find your county for a look at candidates from each party on that ballot. view article arw

The three men who represent Brazos County in the Texas Legislature have filed for re-election and all three have attracted competition for their position. District 12 state Rep. Kyle Kacal is unopposed in the March 6 Republican Primary and will face one of two Democratic challengers in November. District 14 state Rep. John Raney has three Republican Primary challengers, while two Democrats also are seeking the seat. view article arw

District 55 candidates talk education

February 2107:30 AM

District 55 candidates for the Texas House of Representatives have diverse ideas on education issues. Three candidates are running for the Republican nomination for District 55: incumbent Rep. Hugh Shine and challengers Brandon Hall and C.J. Grisham. The winner will take the seat, because no Democrats have filed for the race. view article arw

"A good -  Who is causing property tax increases debate" - js - There is much heated debate right now over skyrocketing property taxes in Texas and who is to blame. Who's the real culprit? Who's been fighting to cut your property taxes in Montgomery County? With candidates Craig Doyal and Mark Keough vying for the Republican primary vote for Montgomery County Judge, a look at how they have affected your property taxes in their time as elected officials could provide insight as to how they might affect your property taxes in the future as County Judge. view article arw

Lieutenant governor: Scott Milder:  Scott Milder has become the tip of the spear in this statewide effort to fight back against Patrick, and we endorse his run to unseat the incumbent as the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. A former City Council member in Rockwall, a Dallas suburb, Milder, 50, is aligned with the schools, business interests and pastors who are hoping to restore the conservative values of local control and pro-growth that for decades sat at the core of Texas politics. It is a movement that wants to put an end to the potty-bill politics that have dominated our state Legislature under Patrick. view article arw

Two Republicans and three Democrats are competing for the Texas State Senate District 5 seat in the upcoming primary election next month. Those running in the Republican primary include: - Incumbent State Sen. Charles Schwertner, 47, an orthopedic surgeon who has served in the seat since 2013. view article arw

1 Dallas ISD staff, teachers and administrators -- It is not said often enough so, a big thank you to the teachers, staff and administration of Dallas Independent School District. Being a large, urban school district serving many children of great need, DISD is called upon to do more with less. As Austin legislators contribute fewer dollars to public education, we all feel the pinch of increased local funding. Within these constraints, the administration works hard to ensure a high-quality education for all the children of Dallas. Excellent teachers and school staff educate, mentor and encourage my kids. view article arw

Educators in my district are honest, hardworking public servants who make financial sacrifices by choosing a career in education over high-paying private sector jobs for which they easily qualify. They make the choice to become educators because they believe in giving back, they love children, and they want to help strengthen our future. view article arw

State Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, in 2017 initially voted for Senate Bill 8, a sweeping anti-abortion bill that, among other things, shut down a ban on fetal tissue donation and two kinds of abortion in late pregnancies.  Later, however, amendment 22 was added on the House floor that removed a narrow exception in the bill to late-term pregnancy abortions. view article arw

The Lewisville ISD superintendent got a slap on the hand this week from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for his message to teachers urging  them to show up and vote.  The district says it was just a "get out the vote" campaign, but Paxton calls it "unlawful electioneering."  Lewisville Schools superintendent Kevin Rogers, in a video posted to the district's website, encouraged teachers to vote in the March primary view article arw

In Texas, the lieutenant governor is president of the Senate, casts the deciding vote in the event of a legislative tie and ranks second in leadership only to the governor. Through the power to appoint Senate committee chairs and the discretionary right to direct bills to committees depending on desire to see a proposal debated or buried, the lieutenant governor shapes the Senate agenda. Republicans and Democrats alike should look for candidates who can work cooperatively with the diverse body to focus on the important issues facing our state, such as school finance reform and flood prevention. Early voting runs from Tuesday through Friday, March 2. Election Day is March 6.Republican view article arw

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday sent cease-and-desist letters to three Texas school districts — Brazosport, Holliday and Lewisville — that he said had illegally used school resources to advocate for political candidates and measures. “My office fully encourages Texas schools to educate their students on civic duties and assist them in registering to vote. But pushing faculty or others to vote for a particular person is a clear violation of the Texas election and education codes,” Paxton said in a news release. view article arw

"Should you decide not to retract this letter in the next seven days, I will have no other course of action but to seek alternative resolutions, which will include third part mediations, including (but not limited to) the Department of Justice." Menendez Letter view article arw

Midlanders got to learn a little bit more about the three District 31 state Senate candidates and where they stand on a variety of issues during a League of Women Voters event Monday, but education was on most people’s minds. Attendees at Midland College’s Carrasco Room were invited to write their questions on index cards. The moderator held a large pile and fanned them out in her hand, saying that all of them were about education. view article arw

The fight between Texas’ Republican establishment and public education advocates ratcheted up another notch on Wednesday.  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued cease-and-desist letters to three public school districts, including Lewisville, asking them to stop “unlawful electioneering” and demanding that they delete “political messaging” shared from social media accounts and get-out-the-vote videos.  “Pushing faculty or others to vote for a particular person is a clear violation of the Texas Election and Education Codes,” Paxton said in a news release. The state’s education code prohibits districts from using their funds “or other resources to electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, or political party.” Paxton singled out the Lewisville, Brazosport and Holliday districts for allegedly overstepping those bounds. view article arw

"Lewisville ISD believes a culture of voting is vital to the future of our state and country. The right to freely elect leaders is the very definition of American Freedom and we are asking students and staff to vote and understand what impact a legislator may have on their daily lives. The district respectfully disagrees with the Office of the Attorney General on this matter". view article arw

SD 25: The Crusade Against Campbell

February 1508:25 AM

Benefiting from U.S. Senator Ted Cruz's support on the campaign trail, right-wing Sen. Donna Campbell upset veteran Republican Jeff Wentworth in 2012, making a name for herself as an ardent anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ darling. She's up against attorney Shannon McClendon in her primary and faces two challengers on the Democratic ticket, Jack Guerra and Steven Kling. view article arw

When a powerful conservative group, Empower Texans, asked the state’s public school teachers to serve as “whistleblowers,” watching for misuse of school district funds by endorsing or campaigning in the upcoming election, it was a call to action — in more ways than one.The mass mailer roused hundreds of teachers, advocates and former students to rally against the effort on social media, using the hashtag “#blowingthewhistle” to instead highlight teachers and school districts that go the extra mile. For example: “Hey, @EmpowerTexans, I have a colleague who took a kid’s clothes home (in an inconspicuous backpack) every day & washed them for her AND brought it back filled with snacks [because] the kid lived in her mom’s car.” view article arw

The political action committee called Protect Dallas Kids spent most of its $200,000 in funds on an advertising blitz urging voters to kill Dallas County Schools, the countywide government agency that's under an FBI investigation after questionable business deals.  The vast majority of money raised came straight from the pockets of Sen. Don Huffines, a Dallas Republican who began the legislative call to get rid of DCS by filing a bill to eliminate the agency. He spent $129,000 of his own money against what he has called "an unnecessary, unsafe and financially corrupt organization that just needs to go away." view article arw

San Antonio City Council and local public schools are looking into ways they can work together to advocate for changes to school funding at the state level. At an initial planning meeting with the council’s committee on intergovernmental relations Tuesday, committee chair Rey Saldaña said the city wanted to have “skin in the game." view article arw

The Texas Senate District 25 features two primary election contests this year. Attorney Shannon McClendon is challenging incumbent Donna Campbell for the Republican nomination. On the Democratic side, urban planner Jack Guerra and Steven Kling, who works in information technology, square off. view article arw

The argument over school choice has made its way to the March primaries. On the Republican ballot is Prop 5, which begs the question, should Texas families get to choose the type of school their child attends? view article arw

Lieutenant governor candidate Mike Collier is looking beyond his Democratic primary battle to a November clash with the Republican incumbent who led his party's hard-right charge in the 2017 legislative session in Austin. "Dan Patrick chases headlines and does things like bathroom bills," Collier said of the Republican leader of the Texas Senate. "There's enough (red meat) to influence a Republican primary, but I don't think there's enough to influence a general election." view article arw

Steve Toth and Jackie Waters have filed to run on the Republican ticket for state representative district 15 in the March primary election. The position was formerly held by State Rep. Mark Keough-R, The Woodlands, who did not seek re-election this year. The winner will face Democratic candidate Lorena Perez McGill in the November election. view article arw

Education spending, gun control, and toll roads were the hot topics at a Tuesday night discussion among four Republican candidates vying to succeed House Speaker Joe Straus as the next representative of Texas House District 121. All seven candidates – six Republicans and one Democrat – were invited to the forum at MacArthur High School, located in the solidly Republican district that includes much of Northeast San Antonio, Olmos Park, Alamo Heights, and Terrell Hills. view article arw

FORT WORTH  Tarrant County is now front and center in the fight to lower property taxes. County Judge Glen Whitley has drawn statewide attention for preaching what he believes — that Texans pay high property taxes because the state has long cut back on what it spends to educate public school students — and now a group of local state senators is firing back. view article arw