TCTA General Counsel Lonnie Hollingsworth testified before the House Elections Committee against SB 1569, a bill that greatly expands current law that prohibits "electioneering" by school boards. Violations of the law would be a Class A misdemeanor.

The bill would include any district employee and would prohibit any communication during working hours in support of or opposition to a candidate, party or ballot measure. Other language in the bill would prohibit a teacher from assigning students to write their legislator to urge support or opposition on a bill, specifying that an employee:

may not use or authorize the use of public funds or resources to...facilitate any activity by a student or other person for advocacy communications to an elected officer or employee of an elected officer for or against a matter for which the officer may vote or take an official action.

The bill has passed the Senate. Due to upcoming deadlines, it must be approved by the House Elections Committee this week if it is to progress through the House.