Texas Republicans have passed a bill to help parents get their kids out of woke public schools, but it faces a steep path to becoming law.
SB1 would set aside $8,000 to defray the expenses of private education. Democrats are opposed to the bill, and although they don't have a majority, it is likely to face opposition in the Republican-controlled Texas House.
The bill's author, Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, called it a "a pledge to Texas parents, a testament to our trust in their decision-making capabilities and investment in the dreams of our young Texans respecting their individual specific education needs."
The Texas legislature is in a special session currently. The Senate already passed a school choice program during the regular session, but it faltered in the House, which is also controlled by Republicans.
As an incentive, Governor Greg Abbott (R) has pledged to give teachers raises and increase funding for public school students across the board.
Parents have a God-given right to decide what is best for their child’s education.
Texas has an obligation to provide the best possible education for each child.
I called Special Session #3 to pass school choice for every family in Texas.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 13, 2023
But Texas Dems - supported by teacher unions in the state - say SB1 unfairly siphons tax dollars away from needy schools to the advantage of wealthy and religious families.
“Public dollars belong in public schools. Period. Corporate private school vouchers only exist to give handouts to wealthy families so their kids can keep attending private and religious schools – while working families foot the bill," Texas Democrats said.
Liberals reject school choice programs as a threat to public education, which they control and use to propagate their ideology.
While school choice is a popular Republican initiative, the Texas Republican party is rife with division - as the impeachment saga of attorney general Ken Paxton (R), who was acquitted by the Senate, illustrated.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), a Paxton ally, blamed the failure to pass education reform on House Speaker Dade Phelan (R).
Under Phelan, the House "never came to an agreement on any of these bills during the regular session and they all died."
"Now, one week into the special session, the House has not even scheduled a single hearing, let alone passed a single bill. … Texas parents want school choice to pass. Texas teachers want pay raises," he said.