Parents Demand Empowerment

What to Know: Supporters of parent empowerment—of letting parents make the best educational decisions on behalf of their children—did very well in the midterm elections.

The TPPF Take: It’s time to empower parents throughout Texas so they can make the best decisions for their kids.

“TPPF has an aggressive agenda to ensure parents are the primary decision makers in their kids’ education,” says TPPF’s Mandy Drogin. “It starts with knowing what’s going on in the classrooms, giving parents a real voice in evaluating the quality of the material, and granting them the right to choose which educational environment works best for their kids.”

For more on parent empowerment, click here.

Enrollment Down, Spending Up

What to Know: Austin ISD continues to teach fewer students at greater expense. Over the weekend, the Austin American-Statesman reported: “This year’s student population…is 872 students lower than the 74,602 that were enrolled at the same time last year, according to district data.” Even still, the district’s total budget grew from $1.77 billion in fiscal year 2022 to $1.9 billion in fiscal year 2023.

The TPPF Take: Persistent enrollment declines should prompt school districts to spend less, not more. Unfortunately, that’s not happening.

“Austin ISD and other large urban school districts are experiencing persistent enrollment declines as parents fret over cost, quality, and content. Instead of changing course to reverse the losses, however, these progressive-run districts are doubling-down on bad policy and bigger budgets. This will invite further shrinkage, especially as the affordability situation worsens,” says TPPF’s James Quintero.

For more on school spending, click here.


What to Know: Texas state Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, has filed a bill that would tighten civil asset forfeiture laws.

The TPPF Take: Under civil asset forfeiture, police and prosecutors can take your property without ever charging you with a crime, if they suspect the property is linked to a felony.

“Once property is seized, the owner must prove that it wasn’t involved in criminality—switching the burden of proof from the state (where it should be) to the individual (who is then asked to prove a negative, which as logic teachers remind us, is often impossible),” says TPPF’s Derek Cohen. “There’s no presumption of innocence.”

For more on civil asset forfeiture, click here.