Lawmakers remained divided over passage of a controversial bill that would introduce education savings accounts to the state of Texas. Governor Abbott made school choice one of the priorities of the latest 30-day special session and has threatened to call as many as necessary to achieve that goal. Divisions have emerged between urban and rural Republicans and along partisan lines. Proponents of school choice argue that ESA’s will empower parents to enroll their children in a private school if they are assigned to an underperforming school. Opponents, however, warn that schools vouchers will siphon money from public schools.
Why are Texas Republicans so divided?
Instructors: click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.
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Writing: Explain the role that public school employees have played in defeating school choice programs in the past. How have proponents of education savings accounts sought to gain support from the public schools with the current proposal?
Debate: Should the state of Texas adopt education savings accounts or invest more in the public school system?
Poll: Will passage of education savings accounts pull public money away from Texas public schools?
Short Answer: How do admission policies differ in private schools from public schools in Texas, even if they receive public money in the form of school vouchers?
Governor Abbott has indicated that he will only support an increase in funding for public schools and teacher raises after passage of his school choice program. (T/F)
Voucher programs in Arizona and other states have mostly benefited students already enrolled in private schools. (T/F)
HB 1 sponsored by Republican Representative Buckley would provide parents with $10,000 in taxpayer funding per student for private school. (T/F)
How many students in Texas would be eligible annually for education savings accounts until 2027 according to HB 1?
How many House members currently support education savings accounts according to Democratic Representative Reynolds from Missouri City?
How many states offer school voucher-like programs?