Texans For Free Enterprise mobilizes to give parents a greater role in education

TFE adds Dallas entrepreneur Joe Popolo to the board of directors, complemented by a roster of advisors including former Texas Senate Education Chairman Larry Taylor and former Texas Representative Ron Simmons. Additional lobbyists and communications professionals are included in the team.

March 1, 2023

Texans For Free Enterprise (TFE) announced the launch of a new effort to deploy its roster of experts to assist the Legislature in identifying solutions. Upon hearing the call from Governor Abbott to give parents a larger role in their children’s education, the organization is mobilizing to lend its full strength and support to this critical effort.

“Whether it’s forced lockdowns, lagging educational outcomes, or the need to reinvigorate the rural Texas workforce, it is clear that Texas parents need a much stronger voice and say in the educational choices for their children,” said Doug Deason, chairman and co-founder of TFE.  “We agree with Gov. Abbott that nobody loves a child more than their parents, and parents deserve more options to best educate their kids. While most parents will choose to keep their kids at their great public school, others need alternatives to best serve their children’s needs.”

This new effort from TFE also includes the addition of Dallas entrepreneur Joe Popolo to the board of directors.

Dallas businessman Joe Popolo was elected to the board in January, bringing an enthusiastic voice for parental empowerment. “We cannot leave to chance that the next generation of entrepreneurs, scientists or skilled technicians will miraculously appear,” said Popolo. “Empowering parents to be more involved in the decisions surrounding their children’s education will ensure all next-generation Texans will have an opportunity for a great future.”

Popolo is the CEO of Charles & Potomac Capital of Dallas, a private investment firm focused on the technology, energy, and real estate sectors. He is most well known for helping guide the transformation into a global powerhouse, the Freeman Company into the world’s leading live event brand experience agency.

A 501(c)4 non-profit, non-partisan organization, TFE unites Texans and advances public policy that expands education opportunities, builds a skilled workforce, and strengthens the foundation and fundamentals of our Texas economy.

Originally founded by Bob Rowling and Doug Deason to address the lack of consumer options and high prices in the title insurance market, the organization successfully worked with the industry and legislators to allow consumers to have standing at rate hearings, coupled with a reduction in rates.

Former Senate Education Committee Chairman Larry Taylor will serve as TFE’s senior advisor, leading the organization’s efforts at the capitol to give parents more options to be involved in their children’s education. As a legislator, Taylor championed numerous bills to improve student’s access to a quality education, including House Bill 3 in the 86th Texas Legislature.

Former Representative Ron Simmons is guiding TFE’s work with stakeholders outside the capitol, working to build alliances with advocates and organizations seeking to improve options for parents and their children. A known advocate for Texas students, Simmons authored legislation giving greater educational opportunities to children with special needs.

“Texas parents deserve a seat at the table during this legislative session, and we intend to work with advocates and legislators to thoughtfully consider how best to give parents more options to best educate their children,” said TFE President Justin Keener. “Our team brings decades of experience fighting for Texas schoolchildren, and we look forward to bringing their voice to the debate.”


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