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Only choice on vouchers is to say no to them

Sunday, November 26, 2023

The state’s constitutionally mandated public education system is teetering for many reasons, and one of them is the influence of Texas billionaires who have bankrolled the push for private school vouchers.

We are referring, of course, to Tim Dunn and the Wilks brothers, Dan and Farris, oil and fracking billionaires who espouse Christian nationalist beliefs and exert tremendous influence over the Texas GOP. They are behind this push for vouchers, which would shift tax dollars from public schools to private schools, including religious ones.

On Friday there will be a House floor vote on vouchers, euphemistically called Educational Savings Accounts, or ESAs, that would provide $10,500 per student. The cost would be about $500 million for around 45,000 students.

We expect vouchers to come up short on the House floor. But the political pressure on Republicans to embrace vouchers is undeniable.

When the House Select Committee on Educational Opportunity and Enrichment advanced the 177-page omnibus school funding and voucher bill, House Bill 1, with a vote of 10-4 during its Nov. 10 hearing, it was the first time in about two decades a voucher bill cleared a House panel. Only Democrats voted against it. Public testimony and 1,003 pages of written

San Marcos Record

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