This article has been updated since publication.

School choice has been a priority of both the Republican Party of Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott. 

However, the House has repeatedly rejected school choice programs. 

The 2024 primary election was a major success for school choice advocates in Texas as several anti-school choice incumbents were defeated outright and more were pushed into the upcoming runoff election.

In 2023, school choice was brought to the floor for the first time in decades. House Bill 1, filed during the fourth special session, included billions of dollars in teacher pay raises and additional school funding, while also including a school choice element. However, several Republican House members voted with Democrats to strip the school choice element out of the bill entirely.

Texas Scorecard has asked all Republican runoff candidates whether they would support a school choice program as proposed by the governor during the last legislative session.


Senate District 30

Brent Hagenbuch: “Yes. I am the only candidate who supports Governor Abbott’s plan for universal school choice – adequately funding public schools and giving parents the choice as to which school they send their children.”

Jace Yarbrough: “As a father of five and founder of a low-cost classical school, my commitment to empowering parents of all means to choose the right education for their children is absolute. The radical policies and ideologies being pushed in many of our ISDs are nothing short of insane. Students are falling behind in basic skills like math and reading. Despite many increases to the education budget, schools always seem short of resources. Some ISD’s have been caught using taxpayer money for electioneering. Gov. Abbott’s school choice plan to empower some Texas parents was commendable, but it included a massive, multi-billion dollar giveaway to the Texas public school bureaucracy. The public school monopoly should not be the only option for Texas families that want something more for their kids but don’t have the means to make that desire a reality.”


House District 1

Chris Spencer: “I fully support school choice and parental empowerment as our great Governor Greg Abbott proposed last session. Texans are about freedom, and that freedom includes their God-given right to choose the school of their choice for their child, with their hard-earned tax dollars supporting that decision. While our rural schools do a great job educating our kids, a one-size-fits-all approach to education has failed and our urban schools have largely become a Woke Indoctrination Laboratory seeking to confuse our children and lead them astray. Parents have had enough of it, and they showed their frustration with the status quo at the polls on March 5. They will ratify that decision in the runoffs May 28.”

State Rep. Gary VanDeaver did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 12

Ben Bius: “I have been a strong and lifelong proponent of parental school choice and, had I been in the Texas House of Representatives, I would have voted in support of Governor Abbott’s school choice proposal. If there was one benefit that came from the Covid-19 Pandemic, it was that the vast majority of Texans came to understand that a one-size-fits-all education system doesn’t work and that we must provide options to empower parents to make the best decision for their children’s education with education dollars following the child. As State Representative, I look forward to working with Governor Abbott and my colleagues to make our public schools free from un-funded mandates, to restore classroom discipline, and respect and encourage parental involvement in education. Together, we can make our public schools great again and improve outcomes for our state’s most precious resource—our children.”

Trey Wharton: “I believe that parents are the best decision-makers and best educators in their children’s lives. I support the Texas Senate’s 2023 plan that would unequivocally keep public schools strong while creating Education Savings Account that will allow parents across Texas to choose the best educational setting, school, or environment for their individual child. And I look forward to advancing this proposal in the Texas House in 2025!”


House District 21

David Covey: “Parents should have the freedom to make the best choice for their family, ensuring that their children receive an excellent education that prepares them for future success. While my dedication to Texas families is unwavering, Dade Phelan repeatedly failed to empower parents and pass school choice, despite Governor Abbott calling four special sessions to do so.”

Speaker Dade Phelan did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 29

Jeffrey Barry: “I have always supported the idea of school choice but HB1 needs to include some accountability for private schools in return for our tax dollars. Since we are creating an entirely new entitlement program, I would rather take the time to protect tax dollars now and not have to find out after the waste, fraud and abuse has occurred. Texans deserve and expect lawmakers to be diligent in their efforts to make Texas a better place to live and work.”

Alex Kamkar: “There is a clear difference in this race. My opponent’s largest supporter is the liberal billionaire, Charles Butt who is anti–school choice. My opponent is a 2x TASB delegate who is decidedly against school choice. My biggest supporter is Governor Greg Abbott, who is the champion for empowering parents in Texas. Brazoria County passed Proposition 11 in favor of School Choice by 83%.  The American Federation for Children (AFC) endorsed me because they know I will deliver on empowering parents to make the best educational choice for their children.”


House District 30

AJ Louderback: “I support Plank 101 of the Republican Party of Texas platform. I look forward to working with Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and others to get this done next session!”

Jeff Bauknight did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 33

Neither Katrina Pierson nor State Rep. Justin Holland responded to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 44

Alan Schoolcraft: “I fully support a school choice program as proposed by the Governor during the last legislative session. I’m in this race because my opponent rejected the rights of parents to make educational decisions for their children. Parents deserve the right to choose the school that works best to educate their children. The tax dollars belong to the parents NOT the government.”

State Rep. John Kuempel did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 58

Helen Kerwin: “75% of Republican primary voters in House District 58 supported Proposition 11 to enact school choice in Texas.  I’m proud to be standing with the 75% of Republicans in our district who agree it’s time we empower parents with the best options possible for their child’s education. Families should be able to choose from public, private,  charter, and homeschooling, to provide the greatest educational opportunities for their children.”

State Rep. DeWayne Burns did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 61

Keresa Richardson: “Yes, I support the Governor’s proposed legislation on school choice. Parents are the primary decision-makers for their children in all matters. This shall include the right to select schools, whether public or private, for their children, and the funding should follow the student without strings attached.”

State Rep. Frederick Frazier did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 64

Andy Hopper: “Absolutely. On March 5th, 80% of Wise and 79% of Denton (R) voters expressed their will that school funding should follow the student. If elected to represent HD64, I will be looking forward to working with Gov. Abbott and House conservatives to get school choice over the finish line in the 89th.”

State Rep. Lynn Stucky did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.


House District 91

Neither David Lowe nor State Rep. Stephanie Klick responded to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry 


House District 97

John McQueeny: “I am a strong supporter of school choice, and I’m proud to be endorsed by Governor Greg Abbott. I support the Governor’s school choice plan because parents deserve to choose the best education for their children. As a parent of school-aged children, passing school choice and improving education is one of my top priorities.” 

Cheryl Bean did not respond to Texas Scorecard’s inquiry.

Amelia McKenzie

Amelia is a senior at Liberty University in Virginia. She is studying Digital Journalism and is currently a fellow with Texas Scorecard.