I have NEVER witnessed so much political corruption and pay to play politics as I have with the School Choice agenda in Texas. This past September, I attended a School Choice Policy Summit hosted by the the not so TEXAS CONSERVATIVE COALITION. This meeting was nothing but a rally cry to promote the agenda of School Choice in Texas through the use of government subsidies titled “Education Savings Accounts” (ESA). Both School Choice and Education Savings Accounts are misnomers. We already have school choice in Texas and Education Savings Accounts (ESA) are government subsidies.
Speakers at the Pro School Choice Policy Summit were Lt Gov Dan Patrick, Senator Larry Taylor, Senator Bettencourt, State Representatives Rick Miller, Dennis Paul, Mike Schofield, and Dwayne Bohac. Stacy Hock with Texas for Educational Opportunity and Empower Texas Board member, Mayes Middleton their “money buddies” joined them. Middleton also sits on the board of Texas Public Policy Foundation. TPPF is also a huge advocate of School Choice. Texas Public Policy Foundation provided a brochure titled “The Archilles Heel of Texas. Improving College Eligibility Rates through K-12 Education Savings Accounts.”
I could not help but notice on the bottom of the brochure was Mr. Common Core (aka) Jeb Bush’s company “ExcelinEd” listed as one of the sponsors.
Below you can see a few who fund ExcelinEd. NOTE: BILL & MELINDA GATES
I listened for almost 2 hours to them pushing for School Choice. As the meeting wrapped up they did not welcome questions from those in the audience. I approached Senator Bettencourt afterwards and mentioned to him “I as a homeschool mother am concerned about this due to Government encroachment. Also I do not like the government in my business knowing what I am doing and where I am”. When I said this to him he walked away waving his mobile phone in the air stating “you need to be more concerned about this, (the mobile phone) which always knows where your are”. I was shocked at his response and lack of professionalism and disturbed that I had paid his company thousands over the years to protest my property taxes. NEVER AGAIN.
After further research into the money. I was shocked at the thousands of dollars that Stacy Hock and Mayes Middleton combined, have contributed to Texas politicians. I am also well aware today March 16, 2017 that Mayes makes regular visits to those legislators in Austin that he has funded to encourage them to support School Choice.
NOTE: The Montgomery County Tea Party held a debate on School Choice on March 6th. Scheduled to sit on the panel in favor of School Choice was Peggy Venable and Mayes Middleton, against school choice was Alice Linahan and myself (Ginger Russell). The tea party was notified one week prior my our modeator Dale Huls that Mayes would not make the debate and Tim Lambert from the Texas Homeschool Coalition would sit in his place. Here is the video from that debate.
**NOTE** Stacy Hock recently returned from New York, She has no education experience. Her experience in Technology. With that said she has made her way up into the helms of the Texas Education Establishment. Governor Abbott, Mr. Pro School Choice advocate, appointed Stacy Hock to the Texas Commission of Next Generation of Assessments and Accountability. Senator Larry Taylor (author of School Choice SB 3) also sits on this Commission. The Commission just turned over their final report in September asking Gov Abbott to align our State Standards/Accountability with the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act.
You may wonder how Stacy Hock can arrive out of nowhere and be placed in such a position to make recommendations regarding the education of Thousands of Texas Children. Look no further.
I will highlight our new Texas Representative Briscoe Cain. Mr. Money man, Mayes Middleton and Briscoe seem to be tied at the hip on the School Choice policy issue. Could it be due to his campaign funding? Mayes Middleton, other Empower Texans board members, and unfortunately school choice advocate Texas Home School Coalition have contributed thousands to Briscoe’s campaign. Despite the fact that this is another government program reigning in Texas Home Schoolers and placing all those under the umbrella of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, through campaign donations, Liberty Caucus member Briscoe Cain is part of School “Choice” elite special interest group.
Representative Bricoe went on Twitter calling Texas moms that are busy schooling their children and are genuinely concerned that School Choice legislation will affect their homeschooling freedom Kool-Aid Drinkers.
David “Mayes” Middleton funded Konni Burton’s campaign $5000.00.
To make matters worse School Choice advocate, Peggy Venable, posts the following photo on her Face Book page cheering their lavish dinner this week hosted by the not so Texas Conservative Coalition. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Bricoe is holding a sign up titled EDCHOICE. EDCHOICE is a national School Choice policy pusher aligned with none other than Jeb Bush and ExcelinEd funded by Bill Gates.
So when our Texas Representatives go to Austin claiming they are conservative. I believe it will be few are far between that truly represent their constituents and adhere to their values. Sad but true.
Oh the tangled web we weave.
Afterwards Peggy posted the following on facebook. Many responded including myself of our concerns and the money ties to this School Choice shenanigan. Peggy Venable deleted all the post and blocked many of us. Some of the things we posted are below.
It is with much regret that the Texas Home School Coalition is no longer looking out for Texas homeschoolers now or those in the future when it comes to government infringement. We value our liberty and freedom in educating our children as see fit.
Mayes Middleton/Empower Texans Money Flow Chart Coming soon.
If you are interesting in who is funding your state rep or senator check out the following links.
This is an easy one. Type in their name and click funding on the right.
If there funding is not listed you can go to the Texas Ethics Commission and see all their contribution and expenditures. It is just a more time consuming. If you will go to the link on the left titled Search Campaign Finance and Lobbying Reports. You will click Campaign Finance once again and do the simple form. Enter their last/first name and your good to go. If you have trouble navigating your way through their call their office. They have always been more than willing to help.