Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a list of emergency items for the current legislative session, including education freedom in the form of education savings accounts (ESAs).
The governor’s goal is “to provide every parent with the ability to choose the best education option for their child.”
Designating school choice as an emergency item gives the Texas legislature the ability to pass legislation within the first 60 days of session – which is normally prohibited by the state Constitution.
However, Texas Democrats are accusing Abbott of trying to defund public schools and alleging school choice vouchers harm rural schools and communities – something choice advocates deny.
“There will not be a mass exodus from public schools. That has never happened in any other state that has done this; it will not happen in Texas,” said Laura Colangelo, executive director of the Texas Private Schools Association. “What will happen is that families get to choose the education that fits their child.”
Others also praised the governor’s legislative priorities.
“Every child deserves access to the absolute best education regardless of their family’s income or zip code, and families should be empowered to make the educational decisions that work best for their child,” said Craig Hulse, executive director of yes. every kid. “We applaud Gov. Abbot for his commitment to ensuring every child has the opportunity to experience learning in a way that respects their individual differences.”
Corey DeAngelis, a prominent school choice advocate, also supported the governor’s move on twitter:
IT'S HAPPENING https://t.co/PwxG1SwcxX
— Corey A. DeAngelis, school choice evangelist (@DeAngelisCorey) February 17, 2023
Abbott’s other emergency items include cutting property taxes, increasing school safety and addressing the fentanyl crisis.