Sunday, May 14, 2023

Texas almost approved a school voucher program in the 1950s – to avoid desegregation, by Camille Phillips, Texas Public Radio

Drawing on Texas' own history surrounding vouchers, this piece is a good recounting of the motives behind Gov. Abbott's pro-voucher agenda despite evidence to the contrary as expressed herein:

It's clear that vouchers amount to a conservative agenda to divert hard-earned taxpayer dollars to private schools that—despite what proponents say—will still not be economically viable for low income families, especially since private schools are expensive, ranging in costs from $25-40K annually. Plus, as my colleague, Dr. Huriya Jabbar indicates, research overwhelmingly points in the direction of school choice exacerbating the very economic and racial/ethnic segregation that proponents falsely claim is mitigated by vouchers, ESAs, and charter schools. 

An apt sociological dictum applies quite well here: That which is good for the individual is not necessarily that which is good for the collective. And school vouchers and education savings accounts (ESAs) are terrible news for public education that the rights, including Gov. Abbott, have worked tirelessly to demonize, despite clear evidence to the contrary that Texas families with children in public schools strongly support public education. Accordingly, read "Connected Through Our Schools" [Report] on Strong Public Support for Public Education in Texas."

There is no independent funding source for either vouchers, charter schools, or educational savings accounts. All of it comes from the same bucket of money that we all, with our taxes, pay into.

Jaime Puente, with Every Texan, is very much on point on how Abbott's agenda is a fool's errand backed up by a large body of evidence. Accordingly, also read Puente's "Vouchers: The 'Lost Cause' Fight of our Generation," by Jaime Puente, as well as a recent, up-to-date piece authored by Dr. Huriya Jabbar et al. titled, "Will School Vouchers Benefit Low-Income Families? Assessing the Evidence."

Texans, let's not be fools. We must continue to oppose vouchers. Vouchers are tantamount to a robbing the public purse to subsidize the education of already wealthy or economically solvent parents and families. In short, vouchers and ESAs are  a rip off for the vast majority of Texans.

Read the Texas Public Radio (TPR) article below or listen to it here on TPR.

-Angela Valenzuela

Texas almost approved a school voucher program in the 1950s – to avoid desegregation.

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