Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued Denton Independent School District (“DISD”) for illegal electioneering by using taxpayer-funded resources to stump for specific candidates during an election. 

On February 5, 2024, the principal of Alexander Elementary School in DISD sent an email to all staff members encouraging the staff to vote against specific candidates who support certain policies. The school official used her government email to circulate the voting guidelines to other public employees, directly violating the Texas Election Code’s prohibition against the use of “state or local funds or other resources of the district to electioneer for or against any candidate, measure, or political party.” Attorney General Paxton is seeking an injunction to stop DISD from continuing its unlawful activity. 

Although the Office of the Attorney General is not currently able to criminally prosecute Election Code violations following the Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision in Texas v. Stephens, the OAG may nonetheless  seek civil injunctive relief to attain a court order prohibiting school districts from engaging in unlawful attempts to influence elections. 

“It is absolutely improper for publicly funded entities like school districts to engage in electioneering as Denton ISD has done,” said Attorney General Paxton. “State law prohibits government officials—including school district personnel—from using either their positions of authority or taxpayer resources to influence the outcome of elections. Government officials everywhere are on notice that I will use every legal remedy available to me to stop school districts from influencing or coercing their employees to vote any particular way, especially when a district uses taxpayer resources and money to do so. Our elections must be completely protected from any illegal interference.”

To read the filing, click here.