Amid Setback, Abbott Pushes for School Choice

School Choice
Governor Greg Abbott speaks | Image by stock_photo_world/Shutterstock

Governor Greg Abbott remains steadfast in his efforts to bring school choice to Texas.

“When it comes to education, mom and dad are in charge,” he said recently at a press conference.

The governor is continuing his push for school choice despite his proposal having failed in the Texas House last week during a budgetary “test vote,” as reported by Fox 4.

“One size does not fit all. No one in government knows better than mom and dad about which education option is the best for their child. That is what we will deliver this session by empowering parents with the power and freedom to choose the education best for their child,” Abbott said.

Abbott’s push for school choice is supported by other state leaders such as Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

While school choice remains a controversial topic in the Texas legislature, critics argue that it would take funding away from public schools and exacerbate inequality in education.

Reverend Charles Foster Johnson, founder and executive director of Pastors for Texas Children, said to the Texas Observer that school choice is “a deceptive misnomer.”

He claimed that rather than giving the choice to the parents, school choice programs actually empower private schools, which “are highly selective about who they enroll and who they do not enroll.”

“They will not take the economically disadvantaged, at-risk, special needs, socially and emotionally challenged child because it is too expensive to teach that child,” the reverend said to the Texas Observer.

At the press conference, Abbott acknowledged the critiques of his opponents but said the claim that school choice will defund public schools is simply not true.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. That’s just factually incorrect,” Abbott said.

“Per-student funding for public schools is at an all-time high. In this session, we’re gonna add even more funding for public education as well as for teacher pay raises,” the governor claimed.

“The issue about whether or not schools are fully funded is answered. We are funding schools more fully today than ever before and we will fund them even more at the end of this session,” Abbott continued.

However, Abbott clarified that “spending more money does not always lead to better results.”

The governor also said that school choice has proven successful in states like Florida, noting that it creates more competition in the marketplace of education.

Abbott’s comments come following a Texas House vote last week indicating opposition to school choice.

Legislators voted 86-52 to amend the budget to prohibit directing state funds toward “school vouchers or other similar programs,” as reported by The Texas Tribune.

Support our non-profit journalism


  1. School Choice Bill Altered in Texas House – Round Up DFW - […] school choice legislation was a top priority of his this legislative session, as previously reported in The Dallas […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *