"Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life."
TPPF Policy Orientation: Education Savings Accounts: The Solution Texas Needs?!?
Stephanie Matthews, TPPF:
- Too many families don't have educational options.
- Education Savings Accounts can be used for virtual learning, which is fantastic for rural areas.
Thomas Ratliff, Texas Association of School Administrators (formerly of the State Board of Education):
- Blah, blah, "local control."
- If you want school choice, move.
- Note: He recently moved into Grand Prarie ISD, which has a school choice program within its district; we don't begrudge Mr. Ratliff making the decision to educate his children in the best way he sees fit, but we will simply wish that every family in Texas had the same options while noting the hypocrisy.
- Something, something, transportation to school for poor kids.
- "With tax dollars comes transparency and accountability."
- Author's Note: This is bureaucrat-speak for saddling a program with so many regulations as to render it ineffective.
- Something, something "protections."
- Something, something "your neighbors tax money."
- Author's Note: For those who are new to Texas' state level politics, you can learn more about the older history of our good friend Thomas Ratliff here.
Marty Lueken, EdChoice:
- School choice programs take up less than 2% of the education budget in every state where they exists; less than 1% of all education spending nationally.
- Author's Note: That sounds like a bug, not a feature.
- School choice saves school districts money.
- Districts deal with enrollment fluctuations all the time.
Patrick Wolf, University of Arkansas:
- Research evidence on school choice is clear about how it benefits students academically.
- Competition also benefits children who stay in government schools by forcing them to get their act together.
- States who have tried school choice have liked it and want more.
Senator Larry Taylor (Likely Education Committee Chairman):
- There are always going to be kids whose needs aren't met by the current socialized education model.
- At least 25 other states already have some sort of school choice program and most of the states who initially implemented a program have expanded it further.
- You don't need that many kids to participate in a school choice program to benefit the rest of the system.
- Rural Republicans like to argue parental choice will "destroy public education" in their community then say there just isn't the demand in their community for school choice to make a difference; they can't have it both ways.