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Texas Lawmakers Square Off Over Education

Posted on in Education Policy · Texas Government · Texas Legislature · Texas · Texas State Politics · State Government · Public Policy

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.

Download: CQP_Lecture_Spark_PPT_Texas Lawmakers Square Off Over Education


News Articles

Texas House priority bill increases education spending in exchange for creating voucher program

Texas Tribune


State Representative says Democrats and rural Republicans are holding firm against school vouchers in Texas House



Will ESA’s and school vouchers work in Texas?

News 4 San Antonio


What is school choice? Texas Gov. Abbott pushes for universal ESAs in special session

Dallas Morning News


Texas House education chair files school choice, funding bill; Abbott signals resistance

Austin American Statesman


How a pair of contentious bills would reshape education funding in Texas

San Antonio Report


Texas Legislative Special Session for Vouchers Drags on as Gov. Abbott Ignores Teacher Pay

Dallas Observer


A House Divided: Paxton Impeachment Trial Widens Fissures in Texas GOP

The Texan



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?

News Quiz



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)

Multiple Choice

How many students in Texas would be eligible annually for education savings accounts until 2027 according to HB 1?

  1. 10,000
  2. 25,000
  3. 50,000
  4. 100,000

How many House members currently support education savings accounts according to Democratic Representative Reynolds from Missouri City?

  1. 50
  2. 76
  3. 100
  4. 125

How many states offer school voucher-like programs?

  1. 10
  2. 25
  3. 30
  4. 50

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