Amid an ongoing debate over school choice legislation, two state teacher unions were announced as founding members of a new plan by the Democrat Party of Texas to turn the state blue.
However, the unions were removed from subsequent releases after public attention was called to their involvement. At least one claimed that it had been added by mistake.
Calling the initiative “a well-organized and focused effort designed … to establish Texas as a bonafide battleground state,” the party claimed that the campaign’s “mission is to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of Democratic partners across Texas.”
“… [O]ur founding partnerships represent years of coalition-building and a shared commitment to bring Texas to the forefront of progressive leadership by electing more Democrats at every level of government,” the press release claimed.
Texas Democrat Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa, along with other party officials, said in a joint statement, “Texas Blueprint is a commitment by an unprecedented and growing team that includes statewide organizations, county parties, and thousands of ordinary Texans, all working on the same team for the same purpose.”
The original social media post and press release listed both the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) and the Texas American Federation of Teachers (AFT) as founding members.
Supporters of school choice immediately pointed out that the unions were openly pledging their allegiance and resources to the Democrat Party.
Justin Keener, the president of Texans for Free Enterprise, noted, “Texas teacher unions [TSTA] & [AFT] are founding members of a group with a ‘shared commitment to electing more Democrats in every level of government … to transform Texas into a strong Democratic stronghold.'”
Similarly, national school choice activist Corey DeAngelis reiterated, “Texas Democratic Party just said today that the Texas teachers union have ‘a shared commitment to bringing Texas to the forefront of progressive leadership by electing more Democrats at every level of government.'”
“You’re terrified of losing power and it shows,” he asserted, addressing Democrats.
By the following day, October 25, the Texas Democrat Party had updated the statement, removing the two teacher unions, and the Texas Blueprint website no longer listed them as official founding members.
When asked for comment, Texas AFT told The Dallas Express, “We were added in error and are not part of the initiative. We remain focused on public education priorities.” The spokesperson offered no explanation as to how the apparent miscommunication occurred.
The Dallas Express also reached out to TSTA and the Texas Democrat Party for additional information about the issue but did not receive a response prior to publication.