Texas AFT releases dossiers exposing the billionaires bankrolling school privatization 


March 1, 2024 

CONTACT: press@texasaft.org 

Texas AFT releases dossiers exposing the billionaires bankrolling school privatization

Dossiers reveal concerning infusion of money into Texas primary elections 


AUSTIN, Texas — Ahead of Election Day in the 2024 Republican primaries, where vouchers and public school privatization have been front and center, Texas AFT has released dossiers profiling the pro-voucher billionaires funneling obscene amounts of money into Texas elections. 

“Grifters, hucksters, private school peddlers–it’s all the same. Pro-voucher billionaires want to fill their silk-lined pockets with Texas taxpayer dollars, and they’re trying to buy Texas House seats to do it,” said Zeph Capo, president of Texas AFT. “Hardworking Texans deserve fully-funded public schools, and teachers deserve to be paid what they’re worth. Our governor would rather funnel money into his biggest donors’ bank accounts than fix the 10th worst public education system in the country, and that’s pathetic.” 

“Governor Abbott sets $6 million from a Pennsylvania billionaire on fire in these primaries while Canutillo ISD in El Paso announces layoffs to address their $6 million budget deficit. In one month alone, the pro-voucher Family Empowerment Coalition PAC spent double what Canutillo will save by axing jobs. If these Republican mega-donors really want to save Texas education, they’d invest in the public schools and public school teachers that serve the majority of Texas Children.” 

Key takeaways from the dossiers include: 

  • Out-of-state billionaires like Pennsylvania’s Jeff Yass have turned their sights on Texas after years of pro-voucher advocacy in other states. Gov. Greg Abbott has already spent the $6 million Yass gave him in support of pro-voucher candidates in just over two months. 
  • Over the years, the vehicles for voucher advocacy have changed, but the funders stay the same. 
  • While privatization is a favorite pet project for these donors, many are also engaged in right-wing advocacy on abortion and taking over the courts. 
  • Voucher funders are virtually indistinguishable from charter school funders. Since 2010, Walmart heiress Alice Walton has personally given millions to pro-charter Texas PACs and organizations that fund pro-voucher entities like For the Children PAC. 
  • Privatization advocates want to replace educators with shoddy AI tools that will leave students underserved, teachers out of jobs, and grifters enriched. 
  • Privatization peddlers like John Armbrust lead PACs advocating for privatization while holding leadership positions in the very schools that will financially benefit from those efforts. 

Click here to view internal documents on Walmart heiress Alice Walton, TikTok billionaire Jeff Yass, Texans for Lawsuit Reform co-founder Dick Weekley, and the mega-donors funding the pro-voucher Family Empowerment Coalition PAC. 


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.