School choice activist Corey DeAngelis published district reports Twitter Saturday morning, which include Fr. message from the principal of the Northside Independent School District (ISD). In a statement, the director asks employees to vote for the bonds and says the district will monitor whether employees vote.
“Thank you for supporting NISD Bond 2022. According to Dr. Woods, all employees are expected to vote for this year’s bond,” the statement said.
“Only 7 percent of NISD employees voted during our last NISD bond, and, according to our superintendent, Dr. Woods,“ it’s unacceptable. Especially since 70 percent of NISD employees live in NISD. We all need to contribute to voting and upholding our NISD students. The central office will monitor campus percentages for employee voting statistics in the coming weeks and will expect ALL employees to vote. ”
State law prohibits civil servants from spending or authorizing public funds on political advertising.
A director’s report may fall under the definition of “political advertising” prohibited by this chapter, which includes “a message that supports or opposes… measures,” under the Texas Electoral Code.
Gov. Greg Abbott suggested the report could be illegal.
“I talked about it with Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morat. He confirms that if these reports are verified, it is most likely a crime, ”Ebat said. wrote.
Abbott then promised that Morat and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton would conduct an investigation.
Northside ISD confirmed to KSAT that the message was valid.
The bond, which was eventually adopted, entitles to funding for school buildings and buses of just under $ 1 billion. It was the second most expensive bond in the May bulletin, just below the Forney ISD offer of $ 1.29 billion.
County Barry spokesman Barry Perez said the message was only intended to increase voter turnout among employees.
“This misunderstanding was immediately resolved by the director’s supervisor, and the director, a veteran and respected leader, took corrective action,” Perez said.
“The notice provided to the constituency staff was intended solely to encourage the goal of increasing staff participation in the voting process. This message was never intended to be coercive, and immediate action was taken to clarify and correct any messages that may have been misrepresented, misinterpreted or misrepresented. ”
Bonds are a debt that local governments can use to finance certain projects, often for construction or renovation.
Texas school districts and other local governments, including cities and counties, have asked voters to approve a May 7 bond debt totaling $ 18.5 billion. It so happened that voters approved most of the bonds, although they rejected most of the school bonds in November 2021. for the first time in almost ten years.
The Northside bond went through with 57 percent of the vote.