The Texas Freedom Network issued the following press release today: The president of the Texas Freedom Network today called on state lawmakers to investigate ethics concerns swirling around the Texas State Board of Education’s management of the Permanent School Fund and to reconsider their failure this spring to let voters decide whether the board should continue to manage the fund.…… Read More

This requires close watching. Faced with growing a growing list of ethics concerns regarding the Texas State Board of Education's management of the Permanent School Fund, the board's Finance Committee is meeting on Friday to review ethics rules. The Austin American-Statesman has the story here. What isn't clear, however, is whether some board members are more interested in weakening ethics rules than in cleaning up the problems. Read More

by Dan Quinn

The Dallas Morning News just dropped another ethics bomb on the Texas State Board of Education. The newspaper reports that two board members "have received thousands of dollars in gifts from a company seeking a lucrative contract with the board, records show, and those members have not reported the gifts on financial disclosure forms." Today's story follows on others recently that have detailed ethics concerns regarding the board's management of the Permanent School Fund. (See here, here and here.) From today's Morning News story:…… Read More

by Dan Quinn

A major story and two scathing editorials in the last few days show that concerns over possible financial shenanigans and vote-trading on the Texas State Board of Education are growing. We told you last week about ethics concerns (see here and here) surrounding the state board's management of the Permanent School Fund. Today the San Antonio Express-News looks closer at concerns over the involvement of San Antonio board member Rick Agosto. And on Friday the Express-News and Dallas Morning News published strong editorials about the issue. Read on. Read More

(Click here for Part I of this series.) The Texas Freedom Network and other observers have long been puzzled about why Rick Agosto, a San Antonio Democrat, has often sided with the State Board of Education's far-right faction since his election in 2006. He has done so even when all other Democrats -- and even some Republicans (who are not part of the far-right faction) -- have refused to do so. The revelations this weekend in the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman about ethics concerns surrounding the board's hiring of an investment consultant raise more questions about Mr. Agosto's relationship to the board's far-right faction. More importantly, perhaps, they reinforce the need for the Legislature to ensure that decisions about what Texas children learn in their public school classrooms are not held hostage to political games involving management of the $20.5 billion Permanent School Fund. Read on. Read More


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