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The Et Cetera

EDITORIAL: School choice limits parental freedom

Luchero Guzman

School choice and its promises of parental empowerment sound noble, but its goals are less than pure.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is adamant on funding private and homeschool vouchers for parents. To accomplish this, he needs to funnel money into private institutions by taking it from our public school systems. 

His spending bills for these programs state this is to put more money in education, but our taxes should fund schools open to all—not just private ones.

The only “choice” is a parent getting to pick which private school gets to steal more money.

Private schools are cut a pretty paycheck while public schools (which are mostly funded by attendance) are bled dry, and students who don’t qualify under voucher programs are left in the dust.

Let it be known: public schools are not the state’s personal piggy bank.

Abbott faced a humiliating loss earlier this month when the legislature voted to kill spending bills for school choice, despite Abbott lobbying for months. 

His pursuit doesn’t end there, though. He’s adamant on forcing school choice in regions with better odds of passing such bills.

“I maintain the fight for parent empowerment until all parents can choose the best education path for their child,” Abbott said. “I am in it to win it.”

Abbott retaliated the opposition by stating he will veto any education bills that do not contain provisions for vouchers. He also pledged to keep calling special sessions until his plans come into fruition—this is not how democracy works.

He’s gone as far as to hold the salaries of our teachers hostage, offering to include raises for our educators and public schools on the condition he gets his way.

“I want to make sure we provide a carrot to make sure this legislation gets passed,” Abbott said at the Texas Public Policy Foundation office.

Our state currently ranks 38th in education, and clearly Abbott is willing to drag us lower.

Fortunately, both Texas Republicans and Democrats aren’t keen on pocketing money from our schools. We applaud them for putting Texas first.

If Abbott wants to fund the future, he should put the money where his mouth is and put our hard-earned tax dollars toward public schools.

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