Saturday, April 18, 2015

Notice to Harris County Republicans

On 3/29/15 I filed a complaint with the  Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) Trustees over their USE OF OUR LOCAL TAX DOLLARS TO SUPPORT DEMOCRAT CAMPAIGNS.

The HCDE Board will be deliberating the issue at their board meeting on 4/21/15.
Agenda items (8A/9A)

A brief history

HCDE established a 501(c)(3) called The Education Foundation of Harris County (EFHC)  to “support” HCDE, and uses Harris County property tax funds  to supply  EFHC free:

  • Office space
  • Meeting facilities
  • Six figure salary to their CEO
  • Website support
  • IT services
  • Auditing services
  • Record storage
  • Grant writing services

EFHC Leadership includes:
  • a CEO paid with HCDE tax funds
  • HCDE Superintendent serving as Board Secretary
  • an HCDE  Board Trustee  serving as a liaison member

The Problem?

EFHC’s Board meets six times per year. Their meeting minutes are distributed via HCDE’s tax funded email system and stored by HCDE employees.  At three of those meetings held at HCDE facilities with HCDE Board and Administration participating, the minutes show Douglas Kleiner (EFHC President/CEO) allowed:
  • HCDE Board Member Diane Trautman to report on political campaigns involving HCDE Trustees and
  • Support the Democrat candidates for public office

Quotes from EFHC’s official meeting minutes:
9/26/13: …We need to make sure we have a competitive candidate to fill that slot and most importantly one who supports HCDE and its programs. Also, in 2014, Debbie Kerner is up for re-election, and we need to support her.
3/27/14: The primary elections are over and the two candidates for HCDE Trustee positions I would ask you to endorse and vote for in the upcoming November election are Debbie Kerner, current HCDE board vice president and Melissa Noriega, former Houston city councilwoman and administrator at HISD. The opponents for both of these women support the abolishment of HCDE, Michael Wolfe and Don Sumners.
5/22/14: …Trautman also noted that she was elected Board of Trustees Vice President, taking Debra Kerner’s place. She also reminded the Board that elections are this fall. Two candidates will be on the ballot for HCDE Trustee positions that she feels are most supportive of HCDE’s mission: Melissa Noriega and incumbent, Debra Kerner.
 View the documents: here 

Federal Law

EFHC has filed with the IRS as a 501(c)(3). The IRSwebsite reads:
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.  Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.
Thus, EFHC is not in compliance with the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

Texas Law

Texas Ethics Commission Opinions read:
Section 255.003 of the Election Code states that an officer or employee of a political subdivision may not knowingly spend or authorize the spending of public funds for political advertising. “Spending” of public funds includes the use of political subdivision employees’ work time, the use of existing political subdivision equipment, and the use of facilities maintained by a political subdivision. Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 443 (2002) (EAO 443).
We also caution that government resources generally may not be used for campaign purposes. See Penal Code § 39.02.

An officer or employee of a political subdivision may not spend or authorize the spending of public funds for political advertising. 
 ”Political advertising” is a communication that advocates a particular outcome  in an election
The prohibition applies to any “officer or employee of a political subdivision.”  In  other  words,  if  a  school  district  employee  makes  a decision to use district resources in violation of the prohibition, the employee could be fined by the Ethics Commission or  held criminally liable.  School board members, as “officers”of a school district, are also subject to the prohibition.
 A  school  district  board  member  or  employee  would  violate  the  prohibition
by “spending or authorizing the spending of public funds” for political advertising.   
Also,  it  is  not  permissible  to  authorize  the  use  of  the paid time of the school district employees to create  or  distribute  political  advertising.  For  example,  school district staff may not copy, staple, or distribute political advertising on work time. 
Another  provision  of  the  Texas  Election  Code prohibits a school board member for employee from using or authorizing the use of an internal mail system to distribute political advertising. An internal mail system is a system operated by a school district to deliver written documents to its board members or employees. A violation of this prohibition could also lead to the imposition of fines by the Ethics Commission or to criminal prosecution. 
View supporting documents: here 

Not a Simple Mistake

A mistake is something happening one time. Someone beginning to speak in support of a candidate in a local election before being stopped by the CEO of a 501(c)(3) reminding the board that by law they can’t discuss candidates or campaigns.

But these minutes show the activity was not only routine, it is so acceptable at EFHC that it was included in their OFFICIAL MEETING MINUTES!  Two out of six meetings in 2014 means 33% of their meetings included political campaign activity. That is no simple mistake.

Action Needed

The political activity by the EFHC is a repeated and blatant violation of both the Internal Revenue Code and Texas Election Code. Because HCDE is supporting this activity with Harris County taxpayer funds I urge HCDE to immediately:

  • sever all ties between HCDE and EFHC including removal of EFHC and all EFHC documents from HCDE property and servers
  • initiate legal action to force EFHC to refund all public funds it received from HCDE since 9/26/2013
  • approve a public censure of HCDE Trustee Diane Trautman for using her position as EFHC liaison for political purposes
  • issue a public apology  to the Republican Party of Harris County for allowing the use of public funds to promote Democrat candidates for County School Trustee

Voice your opinion

You may voice your opinion to the HCDE Board via email:


Angie Chesnut, President
Kay Smith, Vice President
Marvin Morris
Don Sumners
Michael Wolfe

Erica Lee Carter
Diane Trautman

You may voice your opinion to the HCDE Board via phone message: 713-694-6300 

You may also speak in person during the Open Forum at the HCDE Board meeting

Location: HCDE Administration 
                Ronald W. Reagan Building 
                6300 Irvington Blvd. 
                Houston, TX 77022

Colleen Vera

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Parent Alert: "Giving Tuesday" Curriculum Warning

Most parents want their children to grow up to be kind, compassionate, charitable adults. So when schools sponsor activities which foster giving, most parents are supportive.

In the past few years, a new “giving program” has been developed called “Giving Tuesday.” The group’s website states:
We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
Sounds good. After all, the Christmas Season has always been known in America as our most charitable time of year.

Giving Tuesday” even provides k-12 school curriculum free on their website to help teachers and schools develop “giving” programs and “encourage” everyone – students, staff, parents and the community – to participate.

Sounds like something most Texas parents could support.

But when President Obama issued a “Giving Tuesday” message and Harris County Department of Education (HCDE -the federal government’s back door into Texas public schools) pushed “Giving Tuesday” and linked to the “Giving Tuesday” website for schools to “get ideas,” I decided to look deeper. After all, it wasn’t just a coincidence that Arne Duncan visited HCDE in person. 

(Note: HCDE is a leftover government entity from 1889 and a past era of Texas education when counties operated our public schools. It still exists only because of a loophole democrats passed back in 1995. HCDE does not answer to the Texas Education Agency, the Commissioner of Education, or the County Commissioners so they have made themselves the federal government’s liaison into Texas public schools. They by-pass TEA and push the federal “cradle to grave” programs across the state.)

HCDE not only posted the link to the “Giving Tuesday” website, they encouraged Texas public schools to participate saying:

  • Giving Tuesday” Get Your Campus Involved
  • Teachers will want to know about #GivingTuesday, a global   day for giving back….
  • As a teacher, you can encourage your students and parents to take action
  • Organize an event on your campus
  • Announce a new fundraising initiative for your school that day
  • Please don’t forget about #Giving Tuesday Dec. 2
  • Share your #Unselfie.

But a closer look shows the “Giving Tuesday” free curriculum teaches “lessons” that would not be acceptable to many parents, and certainly not to any conservative ones. 

What is this curriculum teaching? 

Here are some quotes from the lessons: 

Investigate the idea of Privilege in order to raise awareness about the way that both you and others DO and DO NOT experience Privilege in your communities.

Text: “I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege. So I have begun in an untutored way to ask what it is like to have white privilege. I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was "meant" to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.” – McIntosh, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

1. What does McIntosh mean by “white privilege”? Why is it invisible?
2. What might be in that “invisible package”? Create a list.
3. Why does McIntosh state that white privilege is “meant” to be something that one does not recognize?

ANSWER: “Charity is just writing checks and not being engaged. Philanthropy, to me, is being engaged, not only with your resources but getting people involved and doing things that haven’t been done before.” -- Eli Broad

In contrast to 19th century “charity,” which had been destined for the needy (it was a form of social welfare), philanthropy of the 20th century was “for mankind.” The shift from charity to philanthropy occurred when the Rich partnered with progressive elites of the academic world, local governments, and professional associations. They all worked together to generate progress in science, education, human rights and public health…The “foundation” was created at the beginning of the 20th century as a way to channel big money to important social causes designed to promote human progress…Our nation has come to view philanthropy as both a quintessential part of being American and another means of achieving major objectives. American citizens embrace the idea that with rights come duties; we have the duty to work for social justice as members of a larger community.

Do research on the Internet to find out how BIG philanthropy has helped and will continue to help everyone—even those who donate the money. You may want to begin with the following names: Johns Hopkins, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, 
George Soros, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet.

Prior to the airing of a BBC documentary in October 1984, Americans had heard very little about the Ethiopian famine. Since the Reagan administration was reluctant to send provisions directly to this socialist regime, it actually cut its food assistance - to zero - in 1984…After it aired, the BBC film shocked the world: 10 to 12 million people were starving or on the verge of starvation in Ethiopia….The LIVE AID rock concerts in London and Philadelphia in July 1985 sought to raise money for the starving of Ethiopia. An estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast. Famous singers such as Elton John, Madonna, and Phil Collins participated…Mass fundraising efforts led to the distribution of 20,000 tons of food to two million people each month…After the concerts, the Reagan administration changed course and approved $45 million for USAID to buy and transport 80,000 metric tons of food…This event led to the passing of the African Relief and Recovery Act (1985), whereby aid for “rehabilitation” was deemed by Congress to be legal – even in socialist countries. Funding for irrigation projects, seeds and tools, and training in health skills became possible…
Using the following historical notes, teach students about the backlash against President Johnson’s approach to eradicating poverty in the United States.

“In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched a War on Poverty: his goal was to create better schools, health, homes, and job opportunities. To attain this goal, the federal government created programs like Head Start, Legal Services, the Job Corps, Medicaid and improvements in Social Security. It was the responsibility of the government to lend a helping hand to the poor. Yet ever since this War on Poverty, conservatives have championed the idea that the poor are responsible themselves for their own poverty with bad attitudes and faulty lifestyles.”

How can you persuade others that your ideas are valid, relevant, and infused with a sense of purpose - without coming across as pushy and without offending your audience?

“Giving Tuesday” states that the purpose of teachers using their curriculum is NOT to foster charity in the hearts of school children, it is to use the students to FUND RAISE. 

Quotes from the curriculum guide:

1. The primary goal of this curriculum is to generate a genuine and authentic commitment to service in your school community by energizing students about fundraising for a specific cause in preparation for #Giving Tuesday….

(You can read the entire curriculum here.)

My Observations

Besides being extremely biased, left leaning material, which may be objectionable to many Texas parents, it is questionable if this curriculum is even legal in Texas.

Texas Education Code Sec. 29.906 
outlines character education restrictions for Texas public schools. “Charity” (not philanthropy) is a character trait listed in the statute and requires curriculum be approved by a school district committee before being used in the classroom. This committee must consist of:

  • parents of district students;
  • educators; and
  • other members of the community, including community leaders.

Statute also includes the following statement:

This section does not … authorize proselytizing or indoctrinating concerning any specific … political belief.

Texas Education Agency makes no mention of the  “Giving Tuesday” curriculum.

But “Giving Tuesday” was still encouraged by Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) – with a link to the website offering the free curriculum. 

In a quick search, I found two other Texas School districts which mention “Giving Tuesday”:

Humble ISD
participated through their Education Foundation and offered the link to the “Giving Tuesday” curriculum on their website 

    Austin ISD press release states, "Schools put philanthropy curriculum into action…”

    If your school district participated in “Giving Tuesday,” you can file a request for public information to find out:
    • Which curriculum was used
    • If the curriculum was pre-approved by your school district committee and
    • Who serves on your district's committee
    You can get more involved by volunteering to serve on your district’s Character Education Committee in the future.

    A final note: Texas Representative Debbie Riddle has been trying to close the loophole which allows HCDE to continue to operate. Last Session she authored HB945  (with Fletcher/Miller, Rick/ Elkins/Tothbut the Texas House Public Education Committee blocked her efforts.

    You may contact the Texas House and Senate Education Committees as well as your own representatives and let them know Texas conservatives want the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) closed.

    Colleen Ve

    Sunday, October 12, 2014

    Texas Virtual School…another CSCOPE?

    When CSCOPE hit the news, most of the attention was focused on the lessons.

    Much less attention was paid to the money side of CSCOPE. 

    picture 2But there were so many questionable practices from contracting to accounting, that the Texas State Auditor was asked to get involved.

    The Auditor’s report stated that the ESCs had such poor accounting practices that:

    “auditors were not able to fully answer the audit objective to determine the amount of revenue and expenditures related to the development, installation, distribution, and marketing of CSCOPE.”

    The ESCs collected $73.9 million for CSCOPE, but they couldn’t account for over $6 million of public funds.

    No one involved suffered any consequences. They are all still on the public payroll because, according to the Auditors report:
    • “the education service centers do not have specific contract laws that they must follow “
    • “there were no specific state funds appropriated for the development, implementation, and operation of CSCOPE.”
    • And even though the CSCOPE contracts “lacked fundamental provisions to help protect the State’s and taxpayers’ interests,” none of it was illegal because
    • “education service centers are not required to comply with the contracting processes in the State of Texas Contract Management Guide.”
    picture 3

    That was a surprise to many
    Texans, like myself, who assumed that our public education dollars were being protected by at least the minimum in standard contracting and accounting procedures.

    But we were wrong.

    Were these practices unique to CSCOPE or was this the way ESCs operate in general?

    To find the answer I decided to investigate an ESC program that:
    1. does have specific state funds allocated by the Legislature,
    2. is contracted through TEA (thus required to meet State of Texas contract standards) and
    3. does have legislation outlining specifications.

    I chose the:

    picture 5What I found, from the standpoint of financial accountability, is another “CSCOPE.”

    But this time, instead of just having poor contracting and accounting procedures with public funds, I have a video of a government entity explaining how they defied the Legislature and by-passed Texas law in order to operate TxVSN, and their elected officials rationalizing their actions.

    I don’t have enough room to print everything, so I have chosen a few highlights of my findings to share here.

    The Texas Legislature passed SB 1788 in 2007 establishing the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) and funding the operations with state funds.

    The Commissioner of Education was given authority over the network resources and instructed in statute to contract with an ESC for  the ESC to operate the network.

    The Legislature chose ESCs to operate the network because one of their statutory purposes is to   “implement initiatives assigned by the legislature.” (8.220)

    picture8Texas Education Agency (TEA) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) entitled “Central Operations for the Texas Virtual School Network” with the deadline for submission 3/5/08. Eligible proposers were limited to the 20 Texas ESCs.

    The purpose was to identify the regional service center to operate the network.” The RFP stated, “a collaborative of ESCs will also be considered.”

    The RFP included other qualifications such as HUB percentages, an understanding of TxVSN, etc. as well as a statement that the proposer had not
     “communicated directly or indirectly the proposal or bid made to any competitor or any other person engaged in such line of business during the procurement process for this contract.”

    According to discussions held in a public meeting on 2/26/13, The Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) wanted to bid for Central Operations of TxVSN, but was excluded by the mandates of the legislation because they are not an ESC.

    Excerpts from HCDE’s public discussion concerning TxVSN:
    (Note: Translation is approximate because some is difficult to understand. Please watch video for exact wording.)
    John Sawyer (HCDE Superintendent): “… we wanted to bid on the contract. So I negotiated with (ESC)Region 10 who said, “We don’t know how to do it.” And I said, “We do. But we can’t bid.” So they bid and we are doing about 70% of the infrastructure work. And they are the front of the Texas School. And they handle the money and the student registrations and all that. ..“
    Angie Chesnut (HCDE Board President): “You might explain why we couldn’t bid directly.”
    John Sawyer (HCDE Superintendent):“…When the law was passed the wording in the law said that the only people who could bid were Regional Service Centers…We don’t qualify as a Regional Service Center. I never could decide if that was purposeful or accidental, but it didn’t matter. We got our share of the business anyway…”
    Kay Smith (HCDE Trustee): “I have a question just for clarification. We could not bid on this directly?”
    Sawyer:That is correct”
    Smith:So they bid on it and then they sub it out to us?”
    Sawyer: “The director at Region 10 is a former school superintendent that I happen to know pretty well… When I realized that we were not going to be allowed to bid on the project, and the bid was due in Austin on Tuesday of (the) next week…I called Buddy and said, “OK. Here is the deal.” I told you that conversation. He said, “John, we don’t know how to do this.” I said, “We do. But we can’t bid.” So we sent a team to Dallas…And spent the weekend. Wrote the proposal. We delivered it to TEA on Tuesday. Jointly. I mean we helped them with the proposal. And they got awarded the contract and we get about 70% …”

    View the full Board discussion video: here 

    (Note: After the discussion, only one Trustee, Kay Smith, voted not to approve the contract.)

    Three weeks before the final proposal for Central Operations of TxVSN was due, TEA held a conference in Austin “to assist potential proposers in clarifying their understanding of the scope and nature of the work…” It was open to “all potential proposers. 

    Records show exactly who attended:
    picture 10
    ESC-11  sent 3 people
    ESC- 4   sent 1 person
    ESC-12  sent 1 person
    HCDE - not qualified to bid - sent 6 people


    Yet, TEA awarded the contract to operate the Texas statewide on-line school to ESC-10, an ESC that:
    • did not even attend TEA’s proposers conference, and
    • John Sawyer claims said, “We don’t know how to do it.”
    (Note: I requested to view the winning bid from ESC-10, but TEA asked for a ruling from the Texas Attorney General Open Records Division – brings back more memories of CSCOPE.)

    picture 12

    Esc-10's first TxVSN contract period was 4/10/2008 through 8/31/2008 for $750,000.

    picture11picture 13

    ESC 10 immediately
    subcontracted with HCDE

    (NOT an ESC and NOT an HUB) to provide 74.5% of the work for $559,138.

    The first sub-contract with HCDE covered the same dates, 4/10/2008 through 8/31/2008.

    But records show the work began months before the contract was formally signed. 

    HCDE’s Board didn’t even vote to approve the contract until 2 WEEKS BEFORE IT ENDED.

    • 4/10/08 - Sub-contract began
    • 7/15/08 – HCDE’s expenditure sheet for $325,997.98
    • 7/24/08 - ESC-10 signed sub-contract
    • 7/28/08 - ESC-10 received $325,997.98 HCDE invoice
    • 8/19/08 - HCDE’s Board approved sub-contract
    • 8/31/08 - Sub-contract ended

    picture20 picture15 picture21
    (Note: I did not find records showing the date HCDE signed the contract.)

    This sub-contract has been renewed or extended every year with the same discrepancies repeating themselves.

    During HCDE’s February 2013 Board meeting, HCDE Trustee Erica Lee Carter asks this question about their 12/13 TxVSN contract:

    Why are we voting on a contract that started last September?”

    But dates and signatures are only part of the contracting concerns.

    picture22Documents show that ESC-10 did not request bids before it sub-contracted the development of TxVSN Central Operations to HCDE.
    Instead, ESC-10 claimed, “No bid required since professional services.”

    But this was a TEA contract which had to follow State of Texas contract guidelines. Texas Government Code 2254 defines “profession services” as services within the scope of the following professions:
    landscape architecture
    land surveying
    professional engineering
    real estate appraising
    professional nursing

    Technology is not listed.

    Appendix 1 of the TEA contract reads:

    "No funds shall be used to pay for food costs (ie refreshments, banquets, group meals, etc.) unless requested as a specific line item in the budget by the contractor and approved (prior to expenditures occurring) by TEA.
    I did not find budget line items or TEA prior approval documentation, but I did find the following purchases in the HCDE check registry under TxVSN budget codes:
    picture 4
    (Note: HCDE has removed links to its check registries online so I was only able to collect data from a link I had saved.)

    Statute dictates that an ESC will operate the network and TEA awarded ESC 10 the Central Operations contract.

    But I found multiple contradictory statements as to who is actually “operating” the network:

    • The TEA website claims: “ESC Region 10 serves as central operations for the TXVSN” and “oversees the day to day operations of the network
    • The ESC 10 website claims:ESC Region 10, in collaboration with the Harris County Department of Education, has been awarded Central Operations of the TxVSN”
    • The TXVSN website claims:ESC Region 10, in collaboration with the Harris County Department of Education, is Central Operations.”
    • The HCDE website claims: “Harris County Department of Education, in collaboration with the Education Service Center (ESC) 10, has been awarded central operations of the TxVSN.”
    Harris County Department of Education was awarded Central Operations of the TxVSN.”

    Since TxVSN is online school for thousands of students across Texas, I decided to see who is really operating the network by checking who registered and owns “”

    The result?   HCDE

    picture31I checked the form participating school districts need to send to TxVSN Central Operations for the mailing address.

    Whose address is it?     HCDE


    If you call the TxVSN Central Operations Help Desk…

    Where is the phone answered?  


    Then I looked at the original “Scope of Work” descriptions spelled out in ESC-10’s sub-contract with HCDE, it is obvious who is actually “operating” the TxVSN.

    TEA / ESC -10


    picture14 picture17

    But there are two major issues with HCDE operating the TxVSN.

    First – State statue dictates that an ESC will operate TxVSN. HCDE is NOT an ESC. (30A.052)

    Second – Documents show the name “HCDE” is actually an “aka” of the “County School Trustees of Harris County.”

    Why would a government entity go down to the county courthouse and file documents in order to conduct business under an assumed name?

    Well, HCDE is actually an old county school board leftover from the days when counties still ran the public schools (1889 to mid-1900s) – before Texas instituted our current ISD system. They still exist in Harris County because of a loophole in the law which allows them to remain in operation under old, repealed county school statutes.(11.301)

    One of those old laws, TEC 17.94 states:
    “After December 31, 1978, no state funds shall be used to support … a board of county school trustees…”

    TxVSN central operations is funded with state dollars. (30A.152)

    Would someone question a contract using state funds being issued to “County School Trustees of Harris County?”   

    They might.

    Would someone question a contract using state funds being issued to “HCDE?”   

    Much less likely.

    Just as with CSCOPE, I end up asking a whole series of questions….

    • When it comes to Texas education dollars, who is watching the store?
    • Do the ESCs and other government business enterprises like HCDE really operate unchecked?
    • Do the Commissioner of Education, TEA and the Legislature really not know what is going on – or are they part of the problem?

    Could the answers to all of these questions be something as simple as… … follow the money?

    Is it just a coincidence that less than a year after leaving TEA, Robert Scott, the Commissioner of Education from 2007-2012, became a paid “consultant” for HCDE?

    1st Payment to Scott in HCDE Check Registry

    Is it just a coincidence that when leaving the Legislature Rob Eissler, Chairman of the House Public Education Committee from 2007-2012, also became a paid “consultant” for HCDE ?
    1st Payment to Eissler in HCDE Check Registry

    (Note: Notice this first payment from HCDE to Rob Eissler was 12/21/12  - while he was still officially the Chairman of the House Public Education Committee??? )

    sawyer emails day 3 170
    Is it also just a coincidence that emails show when HCDE’s Superintendent warned Rob Eissler this past May that his lobbying group's $269,500 HCDE “consulting” contract may be in jeopardy, Eissler called a current member of the Texas House Public Education Committee, Rep. Dan Huberty, who then called HCDE Board President, Angie Chesnut, and the contract remained intact?

    I am sure, just like the HCDE name change, they are all just remarkable coincidences.

    With CSCOPE, the ESCs got off scott free because the Legislature left so many loopholes in the statute governing them. 

    But with TxVSN, the Legislature dictated the funding and the operations in statute so I have personally asked the State Auditor's Office to investigate the contracting of the TxVSN.

    If you agree, you may contact the State Auditor's Office and urge them to investigate Texas Education Agency's TxVSN contracting with ESC-10 and HCDE @ 512-936-9500 or email.

    You may contact the Texas Senate Education Committee and urge them to request a state audit of TxVSN contracting @ 512-463-0355 or email

    You may contact the Texas House Public Education Committee and urge them to request a state audit of TxVSN contracting @ 512-463-0804 or email

    Colleen Vera