/getmedia/32a750ce-08d0-4ca9-8bbd-976771795880/ttv-capitol.jpg?width=1024&height=512&ext=.jpg /getmedia/32a750ce-08d0-4ca9-8bbd-976771795880/ttv-capitol.jpg?width=1024&height=512&ext=.jpg

Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: March 22, 2024

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 3/22/2024

The ATPE Governmental Relations team recaps the past week’s education news, legislative and election updates, and regulatory developments.

UPCOMING ELECTIONS: Be sure to mark your calendar for the not one but two election dates in May: May 4, a local election date when many school district trustee and bond elections will take place across Texas, and May 28, when primary runoff elections will occur. The key dates are: 

May 4 Local Election 

  • Voter registration deadline: April 4 
  • Deadline to apply for ballot by mail: April 23 
  • Early voting: April 22–30 

May 28 Primary Runoff Election 

  • Voter registration deadline: April 29 
  • Deadline to apply for ballot by mail: May 17 
  • Early voting: May 20–24 

PRIMARY RUNOFFS: Although the primary runoffs are still over two months away, electioneering is already underway. Washington Post political reporter Patrick Svitek reported Wednesday that Gov. Greg Abbott (R), the anti-tax organization Club for Growth (primarily funded by Pennsylvania billionaire Jeff Yass, who gave a historic $6 million campaign donation to Abbott in December), and the American Federation for Children–Victory Fund (associated with the American Federation for Children founded by former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos) “have raised eight figures to ‘defeat the remaining anti-school freedom Republicans.’” Per Svitek, the funding will be used in the primary runoffs against Rep. Gary VanDeaver (R–New Boston), Rep. Justin Holland (R–Rockwall), Rep. John Kuempel (R–Seguin) and Rep. DeWayne Burns (R–Cleburne), as well as against Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont). Learn more about the big money at play in the 2024 Texas Republican primary in Teach the Vote’s primary endorsement guide as well as this blog post by ATPE Lobbyist Tricia Cave. In other Texas House news, Rep. Tom Oliverson (R–Cypress) announced Thursday he plans to challenge Phelan—should Phelan prevail in his runoff—for the role of House Speaker in the 89th Legislature. (The winner of the speaker’s runoff in HD 21 will be unopposed in the November general election.) 

SCHOOL SAFETY: In what looks like an attempt to create conflict between parents and school districts, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) issued a press release on an Office of the Attorney General advisory earlier this month inserting himself into oversight of school safety. The press release, however, ignores the critical impact state underfunding has had on school safety. We take a closer look in this Teach the Vote analysis.

PSF: State Board of Education Chair Aaron Kinsey (R) announced Tuesday that the $53 billion Texas Permanent School Fund would divest $8.5 billion from BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest financial asset manager. BlackRock Inc. is on a list maintained by State Comptroller Glenn Hegar of companies that “boycott the oil and gas industry.” The PSF and other governmental entities, including the Teacher Retirement System, are prohibited by state law from doing business with these companies because of their practices related to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. 

STUDENT DEBT RELIEF: The Biden-Harris Administration announced Thursday that an additional 77,700 public servants, including teachers, will be eligible for $5.8 billion in student loan debt relief, bringing the total amount of loan forgiveness approved by the administration to $143.6 billion for 3.96 million borrowers, including nearly $4 billion for 56,200 Texans. An estimated 380,000 borrowers who are within two years, or 24 qualifying payments, of receiving forgiveness under PSLF will receive emails starting next week noting their eligibility for this debt relief if they continue in their public service work.  

ATPE SUMMIT: ATPE is excited to announce that leadership expert Alyson Van Hooser and Ron Clark Academy co-founder Kim Bearden will be the keynote speakers at the 2024 ATPE Summit, July 8–10 at the Sheraton Dallas. Learn more about Van Hooser and Bearden on the ATPE Blog, and find more event details at atpesummit.org. Registration and delegate certification will open in late April. 


Thank you for submitting your comment.
Oops, an unexpected error occurred! Please refresh the page and try again.