Institute for Justice Applauds Filing of Texas School Choice Legislation

Leading Legal Advocate of School Choice Says that Education Savings Accounts and Tax-Credit Scholarships are Good Policy and Clearly Constitutional

Austin, TX—The Institute for Justice, the nation’s leading legal advocate for school choice, applauded the filing of Senate Bill 3, which would empower Texas parents to exercise their right to choose the best options for their children’s education.

“Texas can open the doors of educational choice to its families across the state by giving parents the ability to customize their child’s education from a range of options, including paying for private school tuition, tutoring and online courses,” said Arif Panju, an attorney at the Institute for Justice.  “All parents should be able to choose where their children go to school because directing the education and upbringing of one’s children is a fundamental right, and Texas legislators should be commended for recognizing that.”

Senate Bill 3 would create two school choice programs. The first is an education savings account (ESA) program, which would allow Texas parents to spend money designated for their child’s education on education-related expenses including private K-12 school tuition, tutoring, technology, textbooks and special education services.  The second program is a tax-credit scholarship, which would allow low-income parents to use scholarship funds to send their children to a school of their choice, and allow businesses to count contributions to approved scholarship-granting organizations as credit against their insurance premium tax.  Low-income parents would be able to use both programs.

“Not only would Texas’ ESA program and tax-credit scholarships enhance educational opportunity for Texas children, but it would do so in a way that clearly respects both the Texas and U.S. constitutions,” added Panju.  “Any legal challenge to the program by opponents of school choice would be frivolous.  But should one arise, we will defend the program on behalf of parents and children.”

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