This story has been updated.

The Texas Education Agency is reviewing whether a Northside Independent School District administrator encouraged staff to vote for the district’s $992 million bond election after Gov. Greg Abbott retweeted allegations about impropriety.

Hours before polls closed Saturday, Abbott said in a tweet that he had spoken with state Education Commissioner Mike Morath about what appears to be a message from an NISD principal to campus staff, stating that employees are “expected to vote for” the bond.

“He confirms that IF these posts are verified, then it is likely a crime,” Abbott said of Morath. “The Education Commissioner (will) work with the Attorney General’s Office to investigate and, if appropriate, prosecute this matter.”

NISD voters approved the almost $1 billion bond package Saturday that will fund renovations to existing schools and build a new $45 million elementary school.

In a statement Monday, NISD said district officials were notified April 28 that a campus principal had directed staff in an April 18 newsletter to vote in favor of the bond package. The state election code prohibits employees of a public entity from using tax-funded resources to advocate for or against the passage of a political measure.

“This miscommunication was immediately addressed by the principal’s supervisor, and the principal, a veteran and well-respected leader, took corrective action,” NISD said in the statement. “The messaging provided to district staff was solely intended to encourage the goal of increasing staff participation in the voting process. This messaging was never intended to be coercive, and immediate measures were taken to clarify and correct any messaging that may have been misrepresented, misinterpreted or miscommunicated.”

The TEA confirmed Monday that “the matter is under review at this time.”

Corey DeAngelis first tweeted the allegations that spurred Abbott to call for an investigation. DeAngelis is the national director of research at the American Federation for Children, executive director at Educational Freedom Institute and an adjunct scholar at Cato Institute. The American Federation for Children is connected to the Alliance for School Choice, a nonprofit that promotes the privatization of schools through school vouchers.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that a newsletter from NISD Superintendent Brian Wood included in a tweet that alleged impropriety was altered. An archived version of the newsletter showed it was the original.

Brooke Crum

Brooke Crum is the San Antonio Report's education reporter.