DALLAS—As the third special session is underway, Dallas Independent School District’s Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde is criticizing Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders over the call for school choice. 

In a letter published on Dallas ISD’s news blog, Elizalde denounced Abbott and state leaders for calling on the legislature to pass educational freedom. 

“The Texas legislature has begun a special session to once again try to divert public school funds to pay for private school subsidies,” wrote Elizalde. “The one thing the Governor isn’t allowing the legislature to consider is the one thing we need: a funding increase for public schools.”

Elizalde stated in her letter that state funding for public schools hasn’t increased since 2019 and blames inflation for forcing Dallas ISD to dip into their savings. Despite the district being concerned about money, their proposed 2023-2024 budget is about $2.5 billion.

Furthermore, in 2022, Dallas Morning News reported that Elizalde’s base salary is $338,000. In her contract, trustees can encourage her to meet student achievement goals by offering her $20,000 for every metric she meets. 

Still, Elizalde wrote the letter to encourage parents, teachers, and community members in the district to contact their legislators, denouncing school choice. 

The Governor and state leaders are counting on political pressure to pass private school vouchers. What they’re not counting on is you. They’ve scheduled this special session during the school year in hopes that we’ll be too busy teaching children to speak up for them. That’s why I’m emailing you – I need you to email them.

School choice advocate Corey DeAngelis told Texas Scorecard it is shameful that Elizalde is working so hard to trap students in her failing schools.

“Government school superintendents like Elizalde profit off trapping low-income kids in their failing schools. Their bloated paychecks rely on maintaining a government monopoly on the minds of other people’s children,” said DeAngelis. “Elizalde should realize kids do not belong to the government—and the money meant for educating them does not belong to the government schools—although her paycheck depends on that socialist view.”

“If she were confident in her product, she wouldn’t fear allowing families to take their children’s education dollars to the education providers of their choosing,” he added.

Elizalde is not the only superintendent to encourage district residents to contact their local elected officials and request they vote against educational freedom.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.