AG Paxton Promotes Lawful Education on Elections and Civic Process in Letter to School Districts
Attorney General Ken Paxton today mailed educational materials to Texas school districts detailing the importance of educators’ role in the civic process and providing guidelines for legally and effectively leading both employees and students through the 2020 election.
AG Paxton Announces Grand Jury Indictments of Three Candidates from 2016 Jefferson County Sheriff’s Race for Accepting Illegal Campaign Contributions
"Our election laws were established to protect the right of Texans to govern themselves through their elected representatives and to ensure fair and transparent elections, and it is the responsibility of the attorney general to enforce those protections,” Attorney General Paxton said. “No one is above the law. The conduct of the people indicted by the grand jury is illegal and erodes the public trust. Working with local and state law enforcement, my office intends to hold them accountable.”
“The Legislature has enacted laws empowering schools to encourage voting and assist students in registering to vote, but school districts violate the Texas Election and Education codes when they exhort faculty or others to vote for a particular person or ballot measure,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Spending taxpayer dollars on advocating for or against political candidates is unacceptable. It erodes public trust in our schools and, more importantly, diverts taxpayer funds from their intended purpose—enabling educators to provide the youth of Texas the education and skills they need to succeed in life and fully participate in our democracy.”
“School districts exist to educate, not function as political action committees. I am thankful that the school districts in question recognized this and promptly complied with Texas law after my office issued letters last week,” Attorney General Paxton said. “By working with us so quickly, they help all Texas school districts understand that they have a distinct responsibility to refrain from spending public funds on advocating for or opposing political candidates.”
“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,” Attorney General Paxton said. “These school districts must understand that they are responsible, as all state agencies are, for refraining from spending public funds on advocating for or opposing political candidates. The electioneering of these school districts is unacceptable and a poor example of the civic responsibility, integrity, and honesty that Texas educators should model for our students.”