Davis, Van de Putte Blasted for Education Attacks Against Abbott

Davis, Van de Putte Blasted for Education Attacks Against Abbott

Party line rhetoric continues to plague Senator Wendy Davis who, in lieu of substance, has again attempted to deliberately mislead Texas voters on education positions taken by Attorney General Greg Abbott, the GOP gubernatorial nominee.

In early April, Davis fired off a barrage of questionable claims against Abbott on the pre-kindergarten (pre-k) front followed by a Twitter campaign that landed her in the liar’s corner on April 7.

PolitiFact’s Texas Truth-O-Meter slammed Davis with a “mostly false” rating for the Twitter untruths made by Davis, who depicted Abbott as saying that pre-k was a “waste.”

In their ruling PolitiFact stated, “Abbott said nothing like that in his prepared remarks while his plan unveiled the same day folds in a caveat that Davis disregarded.” 

Davis’ tweet carried false information. PolitiFact reported that Davis in a message, “retweeted more than 100 times by the next afternoon,” asked followers to sign a petition protesting Abbott’s education stance–as manufactured by Davis. 

According to PolitiFact, Davis’ petition was “topped by this statement: ‘As he rolled out his education plan today, Greg Abbott said it would be a ‘waste’ to expand pre-k to all Texas children’.”

PolitiFact noted that what Abbott’s plan actually said was that it would be “a waste to offer pre-k to more students–without addressing quality.”

PolitiFact leveled Davis with well-deserved failing marks. Her message “contained an element of truth but ignored critical facts that gave it a different impression,” the site stated. Bottom line, the word “waste” was included but not used remotely as was intended to be understood by Abbott. 

In response to PolitiFact’s rendering, Breitbart Texas spoke to Abbott Communications Director Matt Hirsch who commented, “The quality of Greg Abbott’s pre-K 4 plan is revealed by the fact that Sen. Davis cannot attack it on its merits, instead she has to mischaracterize it.”

Also on April 7, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), the liberals’ hopeful for Lt. Governor came out swinging with more education falsehoods at an Austin ISD elementary school press conference.  Van de Putte accused Abbott of favoring “testing children in pre-kindergarten programs over expanding access,” according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Hirsch told Breitbart Texas that “Greg Abbott’s pre-k plan does not impose more tests on 4-year-olds and suggestions to the contrary are absurd.”

Additionally, Van de Putte misrepresented the position of the Texas Association of Business in her claims. She referenced the organization, according to the Austin American-Statesman, touting results that supported Davis’ costly pre-K plan in “our own studies” and by leadership at the Texas Association of Business.

However, Bill Hammond, Texas Association of Business President indicated otherwise.  According to the local paper, he said, “Abbott’s plan to focus on improving the quality of early childhood education is a more prudent approach than that of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, state Sen. Wendy Davis, who is pushing for all-day pre-kindergarten.”

Van de Putte fully supported the Davis albatross at an event loaded up with state and local teacher union representatives. Breitbart Texas recently reported on the unproven Davis universal pre-k plan and its costs to the Texas taxpayers, which were estimated at $750 million a year. 

On the other hand, Abbott’s plan seeks  to improve pre-kindergarten by providing incentives of $1,500 on top of the current $3,650 in basic state aid provided to school districts that “opt to implement a gold standard, high quality, accountable pre-kindergarten program with the goal of demonstrating long-term pre-kindergarten success,” according to the Statesman.

Breitbart Texas also reported that the estimated two-year cost of Abbott’s “gold plan” is a more fiscally-responsible $118 million.

Likewise, Hirsch told Breitbart Texas that the intention of Abbott’s pre-k 4 plan is to “create a higher quality program so that all children in Texas will be on an early path to academic success.” 

Van de Putte stirred the pot unnecessarily twisting and zeroing in on the word “accountability” to insinuate that Abbott planned a pre-K testing frenzy.  According to the Statesman, Van de Putte added, “I don’t know why on earth we would want to start over-testing 3- and 4-year-olds.”

Hirsch clarified that “accountability” in this case meant that Abbott’s intention is to build a better pre-k system which “requires gathering information — not imposing new tests — to provide better learning opportunities for school children in their earliest years.”

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom


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