Charles Foster Johnson, leader of Pastors for Texas Children, describes an effort to censor and silence those who advocate on behalf of public schools:

Texas Senate Bill 29 was roundly defeated late yesterday afternoon in
the Texas House on an 85-58 vote. The bill would have prohibited local
school districts and other local government authorities such as
counties from taxpayer-supported advocacy in the Legislature. It is a
policy designed for one purpose: to silence those defending and
protecting public education and the public good and to enable those who advocate for privatization
and for personal financial profit.

Dirty little secret? The bill exempted charter schools. The bill would
have empowered them to lobby for even more public funding– without
being hassled by traditional public school advocates.

It failed miserably. The House of Representatives is generally
pro-public education here in Texas. They have held the line against
sweeping privatization efforts. We have repudiated vouchers multiple
times over the past couple of decades, and will never have them,
precisely because these conservative public officials hold to the
principle of local control and accountability that public schools so
beautifully incarnate.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who was behind the entire push, is livid.
His project to dismantle public education and the public good in Texas
is now exposed, and is losing. He lost his cool about it at the Senate
chair last night. He is coming unraveled and his chamber is
desperately broken. Unfortunately, our Governor Greg Abbott supported
the bill also. His only concern is not allowing Patrick to
“out-rightwing” him, so his political obsession is to stake out
whatever non-existent sliver of territory there is to the right of

Of course, this ill-fated bill serves the opposite purpose. Pro-public
education advocates will dramatically increase next legislative
session. Our pastors are in the Capitol every day. Next session we
will have a platoon of them daily instead of two or three. We are
grateful to NPE for joining us in our fight through the perfectly
timed action alert yesterday! Legislative offices were FLOODED with
calls opposing this ridiculous bill. Our strong solidarity together got the job

Pastors for Texas Children and many other groups supporting public schools joined to defeat this proposal. NPE Action contacted its allies across the state of Texas, who joined with many thousands of parents, educators and citizens to defeat this effort to censor advocates for public schools.