Schools chief accused of sending texts for political gain
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s State Schools Superintendent has been accused of using a database to send hundreds of thousands of text messages and emails for political gain.
The Raleigh News & Observer reported Thursday that multiple ethics complaints have been filed against State Schools Superintendent Mark Johnson.
Johnson sent 540,000 text messages and 800,000 email messages that he accessed from a state database to voice his opposition to the “Common Core” educational standards. Johnson’s opposition to the standards is a major part of his campaign for lieutenant governor.
The complaints allege that the messages were designed for Johnson’s personal gain and were issued at the start of early voting before next month’s primary.
“Mark Johnson’s use of state resources for personal campaign purposes has been a pattern for quite some time,” Justin Parmenter told The News & Observer. Parmenter has been a frequent critic of Johnson since he was elected superintendent in 2016.
Johnson is in a crowded field of Republicans running for lieutenant governor.
Conservatives have likened Common Core to an attempt to try to create a national curriculum. Critics have also said that Common Core was rushed into classrooms without getting input from teachers.