Statement From Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller On Gov. Perry’s State-Of-The-State Address
January 26, 2005
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller responded to Gov. Perry’s call today for education reform in Texas:
Gov. Perry’s education reforms must not include measures that would actually undermine our neighborhood schools. Any effort to defund neighborhood schools this session, especially through vouchers, is bad for Texas kids. Vouchers drain money out of neighborhood public schools to pay for tuition at religious and private schools. If Gov. Perry really supports neighborhood schools, he can’t support vouchers. In fact, strong opposition from Texans across the state has led lawmakers to reject voucher schemes for the past five regular sessions.
Yet big donors to the governor’s political campaigns have repeatedly called for vouchers and other education changes that would hurt our neighborhood schools. The risks of those schemes are just too high for Texas. Our state’s leaders should reject efforts by special interests to use school finance as a smokescreen for pushing narrow, ideological agendas like private school vouchers and gutting quality education standards for neighborhood schools.
If Gov. Perry supports true reform, he will put the interests of our kids ahead of the interests of his big campaign donors. The governor and lawmakers should fully fund and support reforms we already know have helped our kids make steady progress over the past 20 years, reforms like limits on class size, strong accountability standards and teacher certification.
The Texas Freedom Network is a non-partisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who advance a mainstream agenda supporting public education, religious freedom and individual liberties.