Thousands of students, parents and educators rallied together at the Texas State Capitol yesterday to support school choice. Many in the crowd donned yellow scarves to support National School Choice Week.
“Every parent deserves choices about where they will send their child to school. All these parents know this isn’t a Republican issue, it’s not a Democrat issue. This is a civil rights issue,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “We know when it comes to education, one size does not fit all.”
One proposed bill, expected to be filed soon, would make educational savings accounts (ESAs) available statewide. ESAs allow parents to use funds deposited into an account to pay for a wide variety of educational options, from tuition to tutoring to educational options for special-needs students. The bill would provide parents with the resources to afford more educational opportunities for their children. If the bill passes, it would be the largest ESA program in the country.
“I’ll be darned, as Lieutenant Governor, if I’m gonna let the kids and the parents of Texas be the last to have an opportunity at school choice,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
Previous efforts to pass school choice legislation were not successful. Several school choice bills were passed by the Texas Senate in the 2015 legislative session, but failed to even get a hearing in the House..
The Institute for Justice (IJ) continues to support National School Choice Week year after year, including in Texas, and has worked to build the grassroots coalition that is championing school choice reforms in the Texas Legislature. IJ is currently defending school choice programs in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Montana, and Nevada.