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HEB Chairman Charles Butt’s Public Education PAC Disrupts Gov. Abbott’s Voucher Agenda

Charles Butt, the Chairman and former CEO of H-E-B, renowned for his advocacy of public education, continues his commitment through the Charles Butt Public Education PAC. The PAC recently injected $1.3 million into the campaigns of nine Republican candidates in Texas, with a significant portion allocated to those opposing Gov. Greg Abbott’s proposed private school voucher program.

Established solely by Butt, the PAC’s contributions, spanning from Jan. 26 to Feb. 24, predominantly supported incumbents targeted by Abbott. Notable recipients include Texas state representatives Steve Allison, Ernest Bailes, Gary VanDeaver, and John Kuempel, with Allison and Kuempel receiving substantial amounts, helping them outmatch challengers supported by Abbott.

Gov. Abbott’s recent efforts to promote private school vouchers have been met with resistance, particularly within the Texas House, where historical reluctance towards such programs prevails. Despite arguments advocating vouchers for families unable to afford private school tuition, opposition remains steadfast, with 21 Republican holdouts preventing a voucher bill from advancing to Abbott’s desk last year.

Meanwhile, Butt, boasting a net worth of $7.6 billion, has consistently championed public education. His philanthropic endeavors include a $100 million pledge in 2017 towards establishing the Holdsworth Center, a non-profit dedicated to supporting public school leadership development. Additionally, Butt’s commitment to charitable causes led him to join the Giving Pledge in 2018, reaffirming his dedication to educational advancement.

In a statement, Butt emphasized the importance of public education, stating, “I believe that a quality education for every child should be a preeminent national goal.”

Butt’s unwavering support for public education has resonated positively with Texans, further enhancing H-E-B’s reputation. Responses to the PAC’s donations include expressions of gratitude towards H-E-B, illustrating the impact of Butt’s advocacy on public opinion.