EXCLUSIVE: Texas Rep. Brian Harrison Files Bill To Defund State School Board Association

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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Republican Texas Rep. Brian Harrison filed HB 3559 Monday to prevent taxpayer dollars intended for school districts from being used to fund nonprofit organizations and associations that hire lobbyists, according to the bill shared exclusively with the Daily Caller.

HB 3559 protects Texas parents from funding nonprofit organizations, such as the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), if they employ lobbyists, Harrison told the Daily Caller.

“It is indefensible that my constituents are being forced to fund an organization that fights against them, their values, and their children by using their hard-earned tax dollars to lobby for dangerous, woke ideology and against education freedom,” he said. “Proud to file HB 3559, which makes organizations like TASB prove if they care more about students and parents or their liberal lobbyists.”

TX HB 3559 by Mary Rooke on Scribd

Harrison joint-authored HB 3559 with Republican state Rep. Terri Leo-Wison, who served three terms as an elected State Board of Education (SBOE) member. (RELATED: Gov. Abbott Declares ‘Education Freedom’ An ‘Emergency Item,’ Demands Texas Legislature Deliver On School Choice)

The bill would prohibit “certain nonprofit state associations and organizations from providing training, insurance and risk pool contracts, and other professional services to public educational entities.”

TASB is a taxpayer-funded organization that gives hundreds of thousands of public funds to pay for lobbyists, according to Transparency USA, a transparency advocacy group whose mission is to “provide clear, accurate, easy-to-understand information about the money in state politics.”

The state school board organization paid William Holleman, a lobbyist with Raise Your Hand Texas, between $93,800.00 and $187,589.98 for lobbying services at the Texas State Capitol during the 2022 election cycle, Transparency USA reported. Raise Your Hand Texas advocates against school choice and seeks to end accountability for districts that fail to perform adequately on the state’s standardized testing.

Texas state representatives led by Harrison wrote a letter to school districts in January, requesting they leave the TASB over the organization’s actions toward parents protesting school boards and its new guidance on transgender students. The letter claimed the decisions proved to Texas parents the TASB “work[s] against their values and potentially place[s] their children in harm’s way.”

The Texas House Democratic Caucus did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment by the time of publication.