Incensed by lawmakers’ recent attempts to divert state money from public education and curtail the power of employee unions, public school teachers could prove to be a formidable force in upcoming Texas elections.
“It’s just the hostility shown by a large number of elected officials toward public education,” said Troy Reynolds, a Splendora school administrator and the founder of Texans for Public Education, an 18,000-member group that mostly operates on Facebook. “What we do want are representatives that we trust, and we don’t have that right now.”
A handful of groups appear to be leading the movement using the hashtag #blockvote to mobilize online efforts. Their aim is to get the state’s 1.2 million active and retired educators to vote for candidates they view as supportive of public education, mostly Democrats and moderate Republicans. Their top target: Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who was a leading proponent of measures that would have subsidized private school tuition and restricted teacher unions.