According to this recent post from Reform Austin, Gov. Greg Abbott has started a war over private school vouchers and is on the wrong side of Texas parents, teachers, and voters. According to a new poll by Texas Parent PAC, the majority of Texans are against taxpayer-funded private school vouchers.
In popularity, school vouchers are definitely falling behind. Only 41% of Texas voters rate charter schools favorably and 45% rate school vouchers favorably, compared to 58% favoring local public schools and 62% giving public school teachers a positive rating. Upon hearing that vouchers mean less money for their local public schools, 53% of Texans opposed them. Texans are also concerned that charter schools will take money from local public schools (76%) and that charter school teachers do not need to be certified to teach (80%). The poll was conducted before Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was prepared to make a new aggressive push for a school voucher program in Texas, and the results came just over a week after Abbott declared he was making another run at passing private school vouchers, as reported by The Houston Chronicle.
The Texas Governor insists that he won’t take money from public schools, but critics don’t buy it.
“Empowering parents means giving them the choice to send their children to any public school, charter school, or private school with state funding following the student,” Abbott said at a rally on the Southside of San Antonio last week. While Abbott has been busy “empowering” parents, Texas’ teachers and school staff have spent the last months suffering from a large exodus while navigating the turbulent waters of a national health crisis. “The poll results are clear, Texans don’t want to defund public neighborhood schools for another private voucher scheme or more charter school CEO jet joyrides,” said Texas AFT President Zeph Capo on the release of the poll. “Texans trust teachers to get their kid’s education right, not politicians like Greg Abbott. They know the Abbott agenda is a political bait-and-switch that will force property tax hikes on working Texans while lining the pockets of his donors.”