Legislators Consider Vouchers for Texas Schools
Legislators Look at Offering More Educational Options for Texas Students
Texas lawmakers are considering a broad school choice initiative, or vouchers for Texas schools. The voucher debate will be one of the biggest issues in the upcoming Texas legislative session come January.
"If your child is going to a different school, then that state money ought to follow the child. It shouldn't be based on where the child lives, but where the child is going to school," says Brian Hughes. Hughes is currently the State Representative for the 5th District in Texas. He says the voucher debate is going to be a hot topic in the next legislative session. "Most of us are in favor of options, more choices for parents and students and that's a good idea, but when it comes to vouchers, opinions are all across the board."
In a state funded voucher system, the state gives money directly to parents so that they can choose to send their child to the school of their choice. Supporters of the voucher system believes this will raise the bar for low performing schools, giving Texas students a competitive advantage in the long run.
Others says when the state provides funding, they also make the rules. "Many people are concerned that along with state money, could come state strings," Hughes offered.
Those against a state voucher program say that it's too expensive to fund and children are not trapped in low performing schools in Texas because Texas offers magnet and charter schools already.
Hughes says, lawmakers are in the preliminary stages of this debate but hope to have a resolution by April. "I think we'll be looking at some kind of a school choice program, it may be more of a public school choice or it could be all the way up to a full blown voucher program."
Right now, nine states including Louisiana have adopted a voucher program for student education.