Shortly before lawmakers were due to vote on the Texas Senate’s school choice proposal the legislation was replaced with a substantially weaker version.

Championed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and authored by State Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), SB 3 seeks to establish vehicles for state education funding known as Education Savings Accounts that would allow state money to follow children to a public, private, or homeschool of their choice.

The legislation was scheduled to be debated and voted on Thursday afternoon but an hour before the vote lawmakers were given a new version of the legislation that would substantially limits access to the program.

First up is a massive carve-out that removes ESA’s as an option for children and parents in rural areas—a move designed to buy support from State Sens. Charles Perry (R–Lubbock) and Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo).

Next is a change  that would sharply limit access to ESA’s in even urban areas by restricting student eligibility and capping enrollment.

Other proposals are currently being deliberated as well.

Conservatives should resist efforts to dilute and diminish the proposed expansion of parental choice in education. As written, SB 3 was a substantive and serious step in the right direction and lawmakers should resist efforts to weaken the legislation.

Update: A few hours after this article was published, the Texas Senate passed the weakened legislation by a vote of 18-13.

 

Cary Cheshire

Cary Cheshire is the Vice President of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. A 6th Generation Texan, Cary attended Texas A&M University was active in a number of conservative causes including Ted Cruz's Senate campaign. He has also worked on campaigns to elect conservatives to Congress and the Texas Legislature. Cary enjoys college football, genealogy research, and the occasional craft beer.

RELATED POSTS

Christians in America Are Under Attack

Christians should understand that the focus of the efforts to remove Trump from the political scene is really an effort to undermine an American government and culture built on God’s Word.