SBOE rejection of charter applicants reveals the unsavory politics of candidates trying to buy board seats

S-B-O-E members sit at their desks forming a large circle

In the last Hotline, we reported our victory over damaging charter-school expansion as the State Board of Education vetoed four of five charters recommended by the Texas Education Agency.

For more context on the win, understand that charter backers have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to SBOE candidates looking to give new charter applicants smooth sailing for approval by the board. Many of those candidates are also trying to inject their agenda for banning racial topics and sex education in schools.

The Texas Tribune reported that the chair of the board for one of the rejected charters—Stuart Saunders of Heritage Classical Academy—was a significant donor to charter PACs while his charter application was being reviewed by TEA. Saunders donated $52,500 to the Freedom Foundation of Texas PAC, a charter backer fighting the supposed “indoctrination” of children by public schools. The PAC raised over $600,000 this year to back pro-charter candidates. The article includes several other facts that raise eyebrows about these charters, including a Heritage school board member who reportedly said the 2017 Women’s March in Washigton, DC, was an attempt to impose sharia law in the United States.