Something Fishy Is Going On – Fake Letters & Outsiders

Texas Tribune wrote a couple of articles in the past few days investigating a tale of letters being sent from supposed supporters of school choice to their legislators through an organization called Texans for Education Opportunity. Of course, this news surprises the so-called supporters as they have no affliation with the pro-school choice group, have no recollection of ever sending the letters, and do not support ESAs. Thousands of letters were sent to legislators of rural districts asking them to vote in support of school choice bills,  but the letters were postmarked from Austin. The legislators became suspicious and contacted some of their constituents to confirm whether they had sent the letters. Read the article attached below.

Rural “school choice” letter campaign sparks confusion, accusations inside Texas Capitol

Is there no limit to the duplicitous tactics some people will use to dupe legislators and their voters? Don’t be fooled, y’all. School choice isn’t about providing better educational opportunities for your kids. It’s about outsiders wanting access to your tax dollars to create and fund their “school choice” options (e.g. private schools funded with tax money, private digital curriculum, private online schools, new special needs providers, etc.). It’s not about educational opportunity. This is an organized, well-funded campaign to allow activists to swoop in to siphon off public funds to line their own pockets. They’re not concerned about your loss of freedom as a homeschooler or whether your local school is successful or not. They don’t care about your parental right to determine your child’s education. It’s about the dollar (and control) for them. Still not sure? Check out the screenshot that our friend, Alice Lanahan, was kind enough to share with us. These folks were invited guests to testify at the Senate Education Committee public hearing on SB3 on March 21st. Your senators invited these outside activists to testify in support of taking your tax money from public schools and putting them in their pals’ own wallets, while slapping more regulations and oversight on to private schools (including homeschoolers). Don’t forget the rich datamining opportunities, too! Mad yet?

 

Let me refresh your memory about where some of the money to push “school choice” is coming from. Names sound familiar? (Again, thanks to Alice for sharing. I think Ms. Truesdell may have a hand in this diagram, as well)

Call both your representatives and senators, tell them you did not send those letters associated with Texans for Educational Opportunity, and tell them NO to SB3.

Using Our Special Needs Kids To Milk The System

Ever wonder what the strategy is to get “school choice” bills passed in States where it is so hotly contested? We can find that answer in a memo posted on edchoice.com that explains a focus group was set up by Bellweather Consulting at the behest of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. Bellweather gathered 34 state legislators to ask them what some of the hot topics were for their upcoming session. The issue of ESA’s was discussed as part of the conversation. One of the key “take away points” is found in section 4 which reads: 

There is a concerted effort to gain control of education in States that is being pushed from the highest levels of government and funded by powerful private entities with an eye on making big earnings, sacrificing public education at the altar of private profits. They want to use some of the most vulnerable in our community, special needs schoolchildren, to gain a foothold. It’s like a bad 1980’s Public Service Announcement!

This isn’t about giving families better educational choices, but about being able to make money off of those so-called choices. It is not choice when actually it is government-subsidy funds that come with more regulations and oversight! It’s not choice to use public monies to fund private education.  It’s not choice when the funds provided through the program are nominal (proposed in the bills is max $500-$750 per household). How does that provide real choice to kids in a failing system? This is further demonstration of the real goal of these “school choice” bills and it’s clear it’s not an altruistic attempt to better education.

Rep. Ron Simmons introduced HB1335 to establish subsidies for what is described as “special needs and educationally disadvantaged students”.  Please let him hear from you to say you DO NOT support this bill or any legislation that uses our vulnerable kids to make profits for his lobbyist supporters.

Click here to see a video of Mr. Simmons admitting the money is not enough to send your child to a private school.