Abbott Takes School Choice Battle on the Road

Gov. Abbott | Image by Greg Abbott/Twitter

The governor’s fight for ‘school choice’ is going on the road, as Gov. Greg Abbott has several events planned to support his endorsed candidates in the upcoming Republican primary election.

Abbott hit the campaign trail this week, with appearances planned for January 11 supporting state Reps. Jacey Jetton (R-Richmond), Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park), Cody Harris (R-Palestine), Candy Noble (R-Lucas), Kronda Thimesch (R-Carrollton), and House District 56 candidate Pat Curry. On January 17, Gov. Abbott will appear at an event for state Reps. Stan Kitzman (R-Pattison) and Mano DeAyala (R-Houston).

These political events center around the issue of education savings accounts (ESA), which stalled in the Texas legislature during the regular session and four subsequent special sessions due to an anti-school choice coalition of Democratic lawmakers and 16 Republicans in the lower chamber.

As extensively covered in The Dallas Express, the debate over school choice has orbited around those aiming to use taxpayer-funded vouchers to prioritize parental rights in their children’s education and those looking to stop them from diverting funds from public institutions. Now, it is creating a clear line in the sand among Texas Republicans.

It is also noteworthy that in all but one of the Texas House races, Abbott’s candidates are squaring off against those endorsed by Attorney General Ken Paxton. The two Texas politicians are also opposite in the battle over Senate District 30 between Brent Hagenbuch and Carrie de Moor, supported by Abbott and Paxton, respectively.

Paxton has been standing against the 60-some politicians who supported the failed effort to impeach him last year, which cost taxpayers $4.3 million.

To pass a bill including ESAs during the next legislative session, Abbott needs to gain 13 votes. While school choice hangs in limbo, so do the budgets of taxpayer-funded school systems, as reported in The Dallas Express.

Coupled with declining student enrollment figures, public schools have faced considerable budgetary issues due to state spending remaining at a base amount of $6,160 per student since the 2018-2019 school year.

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