The recently concluded Texas primary elections saw unprecedented gains for candidates running on the issue of school choice. 

Gov. Greg Abbott recently declared that he has the votes to pass a school choice measure once the newly elected candidates are seated in 2025. Given that backdrop, the Texas Public Policy Foundation on Thursday hosted an event to discuss prospects for legislation in the upcoming session.

Entitled “The Parent Empowerment Coalition,” the event featured school choice activist Corey DeAngelis and retired Major League Baseball superstar Mark Teixeira in a discussion focused on strengthening the parental role in education.

DeAngelis opened the event by pointing out that fourteen of the twenty-one Republicans who voted against school choice in the last legislative session will not return, due to a combination of primary losses and retirements.DeAngelis believes this is because “parents turned this into a campaign issue” in a way that had never occurred previously. According to DeAngelis, Texas has “finally reached escape velocity on school choice.”

Given that over ten percent of schoolchildren in the United States reside in Texas, the implications are massive.

DeAngelis’ opening remarks were followed by a panel discussion between DeAngelis, Teixeira, and TPPF’s Mandy Drogin. 

On the panel discussion, DeAngelis pointed out that, rather than hurting government schools in the way pro-status quo advocates claim, school choice actually enhances the performance level of government schools. DeAngelis noted red states are starting to compete for results along these lines and predicted that “as red states continue stacking up wins” over time blue states would follow.

DeAngelis also praised Attorney General Ken Paxton’s efforts to crack down on school district electioneering and observed that “Democrats have controlled the Texas house for far too long.”

For Teixeira, his time with the Yankees, where he won a World Series in 2009, was the backdrop for his introduction to education issues. During his time in NYC, his platform as a baseball player gave him the opportunity to observe “some of the worst of the worst” government schools in the nation. In response, he got involved with charter school efforts in 2010, eventually joining the board of a charter school provider in Harlem and the South Bronx. Teixeira was impressed with how “school choice gives parents leverage” when confronting government monopolies.

Following his return to Texas after his playing career (Teixeira currently resides in Austin), he was shocked at the lack of parental choice in education for a deep red state. Texeira became tentatively involved with this issue in 2022 and plans to increase his level of activism moving forward. He said, “God calls you to do something more important than hitting a baseball.”

The Texas legislature is expected to take up school choice legislation shortly after it reconvenes in 2025.

Adam Cahn

Adam is a longtime conservative activist and an avid UT and Yankees fan.