Texas AG warns 3 districts, including Lewisville ISD, against 'unlawful electioneering'

Ken Paxton is accusing the school district of "unlawful electioneering."

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday issued cease and desist letters to three school districts alleging "unlawful electioneering" in the run up to the March 6 primary.

Lewisville ISD was the only North Texas district to receive a letter.

The letter marks the latest battle in how much school districts, superintendents and teachers can get involved in the primary and general election set for November.

In the three page letter to Lewisville ISD, which included an additional five pages of attachments with alleged examples of electioneering, Paxton says the district advocated for a particular candidate through a tweet on February 6.

Lewisville ISD responded Wednesday saying the tweet referenced in the letter was taken down the following day "when we became aware our intent may have been misinterpreted".

"We dispute any characterization of the district’s get out the vote campaign as anything other than an effort to engage the LISD staff and community in their constitutional right to vote and advocate for themselves. The district will reiterate again with staff that they alone can make the decision to support a candidate and measure, and the district does not wish to impose the beliefs of its Board or Superintendent."

Lewisville ISD Superintendent Kevin Rogers appeared in and narrated a 3-minute video hosted on the district's social media sites, advocating for teachers to register and head to the polls in March.

"Educators it’s time to use your teacher voice and let the Texas Legislature know you’ve had enough," Rogers says in the video. "If you do not vote our legislators do not care what you think.”

Education advocates say they are organizing to get out the vote this year after the Legislature failed to address many public education funding issues during the 2017 session.

In his letter to Holliday ISD near Wichita Falls and Brazosport ISD in Southeast Texas, Paxton called out what he called specific advocacy for particular candidates, including a Republican challenger to Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

"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," Paxton said in a statement.

AG asks Lewisville ISD to stop attempts at political influence by wfaachannel8 on Scribd

LINK: AG letter to Brazosport ISD

LINK: AG letter to Brazosport ISD

© 2018 WFAA-TV


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