"Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees,
Who write misfortune,
Which they have prescribed."
An extraordinary story out of Houston, for which Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick deserve ample kudos:
The citizens of Texas owe a huge thanks to two Texas conservatives – Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick.Read the whole thing, complete with financial ties to national progressive groups, here.
Because on March 24, 2014, Attorney General Greg Abbott released his 0pinion #GA-1047 answering Senator Dan Patrick‘s request #RQ-1152-GA filed last November:
if the liberals are going to be successful by-passing the Texas Legislature to spread federal “common core for babies” across Texas, they need an obscure taxing authority that no one will notice, led by persons willing to exceed their authority. Lucky for them, Texas has just that - The Harris County School Trustees – aka - Harris County Department of Education (HCDE.)
In 1889, the Texas Legislature assigned the operation of public schools to county school boards. Over the years, Texas moved away from county run schools to smaller independent school districts with thir own elected school boards. When Texas no longer zoned students to county schools, the Legislature repealed the laws governing county school systems.
It may sound far-fetched, but it is true. Even though all Harris County students moved to ISDs over 50 years ago, HCDE uses a loophole to continue to elect County School Trustees and collect a countywide school property tax passed way back in 1937. They disregard TEC 18.14 which dictates the distribution of county school tax funds directly to Harris County ISDs, and spend the funds as they see fit. To top it off, most people in Harris County don’t even know HCDE still exists, thus making it the perfect “obscure” taxing authority, led by persons willing to exceed their authority.
In the 1960s, with the daily operation of public schools no longer their focus, HCDE began working with LBJ to increase federal participation in our education system. Today, HCDE is so entrenched with the Feds and the liberal agenda, they are like a “Who’s-Who” of the democrat party and ideology.
President Obama’s Education Czar, Arne Duncan, visited HCDE in person. The HCDE press release called the visit "historic" with particular emphasis on "more investments in early childhood education."
But even worse…they stated that their long term plan was to use HCDE as their hub to spread this ACROSS TEXAS.
The liberals thought they could slip the tax increase through by simply saying “it is for the children.” But it didn’t work. County Judge Ed Emmett questioned the legality of their November 2013 petition, and was backed up by the 14th Court of Appeals. It did not make it onto the ballot.
When word surfaced that liberals were going to try another petition in November of 2014, Senator Dan Patrick requested a legal opinion from the Attorney General . Because Greg Abbott is a true conservative who follows the letter of the law, his opinion released March 24, stopped it in its tracks.
But this does not mean the kids of Texas are safe. It simply means that the HCDE tax rate won’t be doubled to pay for it.
Why does HCDE even want to get involved?
Besides just supporting the liberal concept of bigger government, HCDE knows it is in trouble. People are starting to question the need for county school trustees in Harris County when 252 other counties in Texas abolished their county school boards decades ago –--- especially when HCDE is using our tax dollars to help turn Texas “blue.” HCDE is banking on their liberal friends in Washington putting pressure on the Texas Legislature to keep them open. The HCDE superintendent was heard saying that the Pre-K initiative would make HCDE so big that even the Texas Legislature would not be able to touch them.
Conservative Texas Representative Debbie Riddle tried to halt HCDE’s liberal agenda last session with HB945. HCDE spent hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars on lobbyists to fight against Rep Riddle’s bill. The lobbyists lined up Alma Allen and other liberals on the House Education Committee with "Republican" Rep Dan Huberty to keep HCDE operational. And it worked. HB945 bill did not get out of committee.
But, Rep Riddle was successful in getting the House Education Committee to take a closer look at HCDE in the interim so HCDE is spending hundreds of thousands of of our county education dollars again to hire lobbyists. Rob Eissler, the ex-chair of the Texas House Education Committee and one of Straus' ex-lieutenants, who was kicked out of office by his constituants and replaced with true conservative, Steve Toth, is one of them - a "Republican" who will rake in taxpayer money helping the liberals forward their agenda.
So now, like Paul Harvey listeners, you know “the rest of the story.”
Greg Abbott’s legal opinion answering Sen Dan Patrick’s question concerning HCDE’s tax increase was much more than a simple tax question. It stopped the liberals from abusing the law and holding an illegal tax election to fund the expansion of Obama’s Pre-K Initiative in Texas.
It's worth noting that both Abbott's and Patrick's efforts came from the offices they currently hold, NOT their campaigns. That they were able to score this critical victory while simultaneously running statewide campaigns reveals the diligence and multitasking abilities of both men. Kudos to both!!!