Texas Attorney General sends guidelines on what’s allowable as school employees in election matters

While Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has a history of trying to suppress participation in elections and threatening school districts for supposed “electioneering,” it still behooves all educators to know the rules around what’s allowed in election matters at your workplace.

Paxton last week sent out a letter and brochure to outline legal issues that provide an overview of what’s allowed and not allowed.

Don’t be intimidated about encouraging your students and peers to vote, and ignore intimidation tactics like the 2018 letter from Empower Texans–a group that funds many of the foes of public education–asking for “whistleblower” educators to report their co-workers. But do know the facts and refrain from any speech or communication at work supporting a candidate or measure. Our friends at Texas Educators Vote have a helpful list of legal do’s and don’ts you can use while building a culture of voting in our Texas public schools. 

Notably, there’s nothing wrong with asking your co-workers and students to vote, with the next opportunity being the March 3 Texas primaries (with early voting starting February 18). Here’s a primer with a way to look up your candidates, and you can always find official voting information at VoteTexas.gov Stay tuned, as Texas AFT will have more information and a list of endorsed candidates soon.