This week, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Gov. Greg Abbott donned yellow scarves and held a “School Choice Week” rally in Austin.
“I hope and I urge that that law reach my desk,” Abbott declared. “And when it does, I will make the choice to sign it and authorize school choice in the state of Texas.”
Across the country, the nation spends about $1 billion per year to send students to private schools.
A bill (and nobody knows for sure what it will look like because it hasn’t been filed yet) will likely easily pass in the Texas senate, where Republicans outnumber Democrats (who are largely opposed) 20-11. Less clear is if it could pass the House, despite the fact that there are 95 Republican members and 55 Democrat members.
Why? One reason, I suspect, is because while private schools are abundant in more urban areas, in more rural parts of the state public school is the only available choice. Will the potential of vouchers lure private and charter schools further afield? That remains to be seen. But I imagine that support for choice is a little more tentative in areas where the public school district is the sole provider of education, where constituents may be reluctant to cut back on that funding even more.