Governor Greg Abbott will soon be calling all legislators back to the Capitol for a third special session. The purpose of this session will be to discuss and potentially pass a school voucher bill in Texas. I want to make it clear that I have consistently voted against vouchers in the past, and I will continue to do so during this special session.
I urge teachers, school employees, and the business community to join me in opposing vouchers. Our constitution guarantees a free public education, and it is our duty to protect this fundamental right. Vouchers and scholarships that divert public funds towards private education undermine the very essence of our public school system.
Public schools play a key role in training our future workforce. They provide a comprehensive education that prepares students for the challenges of the modern world. By diverting funds to private schools through vouchers, we risk weakening our public education system and hindering the development of a skilled workforce.
Vouchers will have a negative impact on our economy. By taking away funds from public schools, we are depriving them of the resources necessary to provide a quality education. This, in turn, will hinder our ability to attract businesses and industries that rely on a well-educated workforce. Investing in public education is an investment in our state’s economic future.
It is important to address the unmet needs within our public schools before considering any diversion of funds. Our teachers and school employees deserve a pay raise for their tireless dedication to our children’s education. We can and must do more to address the high cost of health insurance for our educators and their families to ensure their well-being. We must also prioritize the safety of our students and address unmet safety needs and ensure adequate resources for school security.
Several reports, such as those issued by the Teacher Vacancy Task Force and the House Select Committee on Educational Opportunity and Enrichment, have offered great recommendations to the legislature. While some of these recommendations have been passed by either the House or the Senate, they have not been sent to the Governor for final approval. Instead, the progress of these proposals is being held hostage by the push to pass private school vouchers, which will only benefit a select few.
Vouchers will not solve the pressing issues impacting our students and teachers; instead, they will only exacerbate them. We must focus on strengthening our public education system, not dismantling it. By rallying together, we can make our voices heard and protect the future of our children and our state.
I urge teachers, school employees, and the business community to get involved. Contact your representatives, attend public hearings, and voice your concerns. Together, we can ensure that our public schools remain the cornerstone of our community, providing a quality education for all Texas students. Let us stand united against school vouchers and work towards a brighter future for our public education system. Our children deserve nothing less.