FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 13, 2022
Educators’ Union PAC Makes Ad Buy Against Gov. Greg Abbott for National Safe Schools Week
“What about a parent’s right to safe schools?” new ad asks.
AUSTIN, Texas — One of Texas’ largest unions of teachers and school employees is making a statement this election cycle through its political action committee, campaigning against Gov. Greg Abbott, who has proven he does not respect public school employees, families, and students.
“Respect means a lot of things for us,” said Zeph Capo, president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers. “One of the biggest things: Respect means doing everything in your power to make sure teachers and students come home safely at the end of the day.”
On that note, Texas AFT’s Committee on Political Education PAC has invested $30,000 in streaming and digital ads, denouncing Abbott’s inaction on gun reform since the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.
The new ad, which has begun airing on streaming services just days before National Safe Schools Week, juxtaposes Abbott’s stated support for “parental rights” with his refusal to take meaningful action to reduce gun violence in our schools — denying a parent’s right to send their kids to safe classrooms.
“The governor will say he ‘hardened’ schools and invested in mental health resources,” Capo said. “But the state set aside just $100 million for all 1,026 school districts in Texas to make safety upgrades, and our state ranks 51st for mental health care access. We spend almost that same amount each year to administer the STAAR test. So what’s our priority here: testing our kids to the point of panic or protecting them from bullets in their classrooms?”
The ad buy is a continuation of educators’ criticisms of Abbott’s response to Uvalde. In August, Texas AFT, in coordination with Moms Demand Action, released a failing school safety report card for the governor.
The Texas American Federation of Teachers represents 66,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO.
912 Hwy 183 S, Suite 100-A, Austin, Texas 78741
Texas AFT under state law is not allowed to use member dues money for political contributions to candidates. So voluntary contributions from members to the Committee on Political Education (COPE) are the only means to provide direct financial support to candidates.