Education

With a public school enrollment of more than 5 million, Texas has an increasingly diverse public education system. Unfortunately, that public education system is also the target of politicians seeking to privatize our neighborhood public schools and push a culture-war agenda in the classroom.

To that end, the Texas Freedom Network – while continuing to fight private school voucher legislation at the Capitol – has conducted groundbreaking research into what is being taught in classrooms on subjects like sex education and religion.

Resources

Broken Promises: Charter Schools in Texas (2000 report)

Broken Promises II (2001 report)

 

The State Board of Education: Dragging Texas Schools into the Culture Wars (2008 report)

 

Just Say Don’t Know: Sex Education in Texas Public Schools (2009 report)

Sex Education in Public Schools: Progress in the Lone Star State (2011 report)

Reading Writing & Religion: Teaching the Bible in Texas Public Schools (2006 report)

Reading, Writing & Religion II (2013 report)

Can This Class Be Saved? The ‘Hobby Lobby’ Public School Bible Curriculum (2014 report)

 

Call your senator TODAY in opposition to this reckless raid on funding for neighborhood public schools. Click here to find the name and phone number for your senator.

Big moves behind the scenes tell us the Senate could take up a massive private school voucher bill this week. It’s critical that you call your senator TODAY and express your strong opposition to Senate Bill 4.

SB 4 gives tax breaks to wealthy interests that fund voucher “scholarships” at private and religious schools. An independent analysis has shown that the bill’s backers are dramatically underestimating the cost of this tax-credit scam — to the tune of billions of dollars in coming years.

Meanwhile, our neighborhood schools are still struggling with billions of dollars in state funding cuts the Legislature passed in 2011.

Please click here to find the name and phone number for your senator. When you call, tell them:… Read More

Our opposition to private school voucher schemes apparently angers “Linda,” who wrote us earlier today. We won’t publish her full name or email address — we’re polite that way. But here’s her email to us:

You either have no kids in the Texas public school system or you are just stupid or a lib which is one in the same.

 public schools are an evil force run by and dictated to by an evil government.

We want better for our kids than to be brainwashed by liberal nonsense that have no moral values and no character building teaching.

Public schools teach that it is good to be a queer when it is written in our Holy Bible very clearly that it is a sin. you libs are advocating anything that is unethical, unlawful and just plain lies.

I will do what ever I can do to get all Texas kids that want out of the horrid public school to have school vouchers and a school of their choice. one that teaches not only the basic education that should be taught but also builds character, honor and ethics.

OK then.

We’re often fascinated… Read More

As the Senate Education Committee hears testimony on three reckless private school voucher bills, we just sent out the following press release:

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller today called proposed bills under consideration in the Senate Education Committee today reckless and even cynical schemes to shift funding from neighborhood public schools to private and religious schools.

“We’ve seen lawmakers set up our neighborhood public schools to fail by cutting billions of dollars in their funding and then insisting that they do more with less,” Miller said. “Now some of the same lawmakers are pushing voucher schemes that would ultimately take away billions more to subsidize private and religious schools that aren’t even accountable to taxpayers. Enough is enough. They have to stop insisting that taxpayers essentially fund two separate school systems instead of focusing on paying for the public schools that educate the vast majority of Texas children.”

The Senate Education Committee is hearing public testimony today on three private school voucher bills, SB 4, SB 276 and SB 642. A fiscal analysis from the Coalition for Public Schools, of which the Texas Freedom Network is a member, shows that the… Read More

Powerful interests pushing private school voucher schemes in Texas are launching today what might be their strongest attack on neighborhood public schools in years. The Senate Education Committee is hearing public testimony on three proposed voucher bills — each one of which could end up draining billions of dollars from public education to subsidize tuition at private and religious schools.

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller will testify at the hearing and remind senators that their responsibility under the Texas Constitution is to fund public schools, not private and religious schools. Yet the Legislature cut $5.4 billion from public education just four years ago and has yet to restore all of that funding.

Each of the bills under consideration today creates a different voucher scheme but does essentially the same thing: drain tax dollars from funding for neighborhood public schools so that the state can subsidize — directly or indirectly — private and religious schools.

SB 4 by state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, and SB 642 by state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, would give tax breaks to corporations that donate to organizations providing “tuition grants” or “scholarships” at private and religious schools. Every dollar that funds these corporate tax loopholes would be unavailable for… Read More

On Wednesday anti-public education politicians rallied behind a proposed new voucher scheme to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars each year from neighborhood public schools to private and religious schools in Texas. Those funding transfers would come on top of billions in funding cuts to public schools passed by the Legislature in 2011 — cuts lawmakers still haven’t fully restored.

State Sen. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio, has filed Senate Bill 276, which would create so-called “taxpayer savings grants” that subsidize tuition at private and religious schools. The funds behind those subsidies would be taken from public schools — the so-called “savings” to taxpayers. Her legislation is backed by Dan Patrick, the incoming Republican lieutenant governor.

The Coalition for Public Schools, of which the Texas Freedom Network is a member, sent out the following press release on Wednesday:

A proposed new private school voucher scheme, a so-called “taxpayer savings grant,” represents a massive tax-giveaway that would drain hundreds of millions of dollars each year from neighborhood public schools to subsidize tuition at private and religious schools, mostly benefiting wealthy families.

Charles Luke, coordinator for the Coalition for Public Schools, notes several major flaws to Sen. Donna Campbell’s voucher scheme, Senate Bill 276.

“Senator Campbell’s proposal would pose yet… Read More

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