Texas House removes school vouchers from education bill
(KTEN) — The Texas House of Representatives cut a proposed school voucher program from the state's large education funding bill on Friday.
The House voted 84-63 in favor of an amendment that removed the provision of the bill that would let some parents use tax dollars to send their children to private and religious schools.
School vouchers would let state funds be used for private school expenses in the form of education savings accounts. The measure is being championed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and is welcomed by private schools, but opposed by many public school districts, including Sherman and Denison.
"I think people were concerned about the money it was going to siphon away from public schools, and what the average child was going to be left with without that money," said state Rep. Reggie Smith (R-District 62). "I think they were concerned with how much money it was going to cost to implement the program and to administer the program."
Smith was one of 21 Republicans voting in favor of the amendment to remove school vouchers.
"It was clear to me over the last few months of talking to constituents, talking to educators, talking to business leaders and folks all across this district, that House District 62 was opposed to vouchers," Smith said. "There's all kinds of different public schools, charter schools, microschools... Texans have choice. The question was whether or not their tax dollars were going to pay for private school education or not, and House District 62, in large, did not want that."
The education bill has now been referred back to the House Committee on Education.