The ATPE Podcast: Vouchers—Why Educators Should Be Concerned
Date Posted: 2/16/2023
You have likely heard rhetoric surrounding the vouchers debate, including terms such as “school choice” and “parental rights,” used to describe proposed voucher initiatives that promise families rights that they already have. The truth is that nothing in any of these bills would expand the rights of parents to choose where they send their child to school. Proponents of these bills would like to see the narrative shift to hide their actual goal of transferring money from public education coffers to the pockets of privately owned organizations.
Historically, the Texas Legislature has shown bipartisan opposition to voucher programs, so why should public educators be concerned about potential voucher legislation in the current session? The answer is that these initiatives are being rebranded as—for example—a “tuition tax credit” or a “parental empowerment grant ” to coincide with current wedge issues. With the help of political rhetoric, these partisan bills are being framed as the solution to fictional problems within our public education system.
In this episode of The ATPE Podcast, we ask ATPE Governmental Relations Director Monty Exter and ATPE Lobbyist Tricia Cave to dissect voucher initiatives, the politics surrounding them, and what is at stake for educators this session.