school education school choice

Gov. Greg Abbott said the state will continue to fully fund public education while also voicing support for school choice during a campaign event in San Antonio on Monday.

AUSTIN — Gov. Greg Abbott said the state will continue to fully fund public education while also voicing support for school choice during a campaign event in San Antonio on Monday.

“It is imperative that we continue to fully fund public schools in Texas,” Abbott said. “Equally important is this fact, we can fully fund schools while also giving parents a choice about which school is right for their child.”

School choice allows public education funds to follow students to the school of their choosing. Currently, only public and charter schools receive state education funding.

State GOP legislators have attempted to bring private school choice to the state for years. In 2017, a private school choice bill passed in the Senate but the House refused to hear it. And last session, state representatives overwhelmingly passed an amendment to its budget banning school vouchers.

Now, following controversies over coronavirus pandemic rules, critical race theory and other issues, the push for school choice is back in an election year.

Abbott, who is running for his third term as governor, said he supports giving parents the option, adding that his Parental Bill of Rights would ensure that “parents remain the primary decision makers in the child’s education.”

“More must be done to preserve the rights of parents and give our children the future they deserve,” Abbott said. “Parents matter.”

Abbott’s gubernatorial opponent Beto O’Rourke has pledged to not only maintain school funding but to add more, but he also has said he will push back on the resurgence of voucher efforts.

“Of all the challenges that we have in public ed … let’s focus on the problems that we really have,” O’Rourke said during his own campaign event in March. “We don’t have a problem with CRT. We don’t have a problem with transgender kids in middle school athletics. We really have problems with reading, graduation and college preparedness. Let’s focus on that.”

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