A hidden gem in Abbott's latest proposal:
Prohibit the use of tax dollars for the purpose of engaging a registered lobbyist to lobby on the behalf of a school district or the board or association thereof.
School districts should directly represent the needs of their communities before the legislature, and not waste taxpayer resources on lobbyists. School district leadership must not rely on lobbyists to do the work voters elected them to do. These leaders are elected or appointed in part to vigorously represent and defend their constituents – the hiring of lobbyists to meet this same goal is superfluous. School districts are funded by the state through the school finance formulas. By contrast, Teachers Associations are funded by dues. Utilizing state tax dollars to hire private lobbyists to influence the state (and its budgetary priorities) is an abuse of the public trust.
It is, in part, the legality of lobbyists for the entrenched interests of school districts that makes meaningful reform of Texas’ public education system so difficult. These expenditures of taxpayer funds to hire private lobbyists to influence taxpayer-funded government officials should be prohibited.Good for Abbott; taxpayer funded lobbyists are a crucial component of the business-as-usual crowd.