Vouchers – often referred to as “school choice” by proponents – are grants of public taxpayer funds to private entities (parents, schools, scholarship programs, etc.) to fund education at a private school. The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott supports vouchers and has made it a priority for his legislative platform. During the regular legislative session in the Spring of this year, Abbott took to the road stumping for vouchers – holding meetings in a number of private, religious schools to make his case. In many of these meetings Abbott used his gubernatorial heft to compel Texas House members opposed to vouchers to attend. Despite Abbott’s repeated insistence that Texans want vouchers, most Texas House members and their constituents tell a different story. During the 88th regular session, vouchers were pushed several times with the majority of Texas House members pushing back each time.
Critics of vouchers worry about the lack of accountability that would come with using taxpayer dollars to fund vouchers, Florida is a great example of how parents might abuse this system with no repercussions. “Any way you slice the pie,” the voucher system will have an impact on public schools. In addition, it will distribute it to schools and programs with “no locally-controlled oversight and no accountability to the people footing the bill – the taxpayers,” Keith Bryant, Superintendent of Schools in Lubbock-Cooper ISD, explained. Texas public schools are held accountable when it comes to addressing student achievement, school safety, and the curriculum that is being taught. Meanwhile, a voucher program would be handing out taxpayer dollars to people to educate their kids however they want without any oversight.
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Sourced from: Austin Reform