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The GOP Public School Voucher Scam

Today the Texas Senate Education Committee will hear Senate Bill 3, a bill Texas Republicans are disguising as a “school choice” measure which would actually strip over $2 billion a year from Texas public schools. The latest voucher bill submitted by Texas Republicans takes extraordinary steps toward dismantling public schools while diverting public tax dollars to private schools. The Dallas Morning Newsaid the results of the plan would be "dire" and could "decimate" public schools across the state of Texas.

The plan the committee will hear today creates education savings vouchers and tax credit vouchers that Texas families could use to help pay for a private school education. What the bill writers won’t tell you, however, is that the GOP vouchers won’t be nearly enough for Texas families to pay for a full year of a private school education. According to an analysis by the Center for Public Policy Priorities, families earning up to $66,000 per year would have to fork over up to 8% of their annual income, or nearly $3,000, to supplement the GOP vouchers.

Take a deeper look at the Center for Public Policy Priorities analysis of the GOP voucher plan and see how Texas families would be on the hook for thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses

It’s not just Texas families that would be on the hook. Local school districts across the state—small, medium and large—would see millions in lost funding. The CPPP analysis shows that large urban districts like Houston, and suburban districts such as Garland would lose tens of millions of dollars because of the GOP voucher plan. Smaller rural communities, like Greenville, would see millions in lost funding as well.

The results of the GOP voucher plan are clear: Texas public school districts will lose millions in funding and Texas families will be still be on the hook for thousands of dollars if they send their kids to a private school. That’s why respected newspapers across Texas have blasted the GOP voucher plan:

  • Austin American Statesman: “SB 3 is hardly a rose. But the public school that continues to do the tough job of educating every child clearly is.” [3/18/2017]
  • Dallas Morning News: “The consequences of a voucher program would not just be unintended but dire.” [1/24/2017]
  • San Antonio Express-News: “Before voting to take a portion of that money and handing it to private or religious schools, state lawmakers must address the funding needs of a system the Texas Supreme declared constitutional but extremely flawed.”  [3/12/2017]
  • Corpus Christi Caller-Times: “Too many of our elected state officials scapegoat public education for political gain…Their solution is to undermine the schools by diverting tax dollars from them, and by siphoning the best, least-problematic students. They should be ashamed for calling this school choice.” [1/31/2017]
  • Waco Tribune Herald: “Texas leaders have some work to do before pursing school-choice schemes” [1/29/2017]
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