TFN Press Release: Senate Voucher Bills Hide Massive Cost to Public Schools and Texas Students

by Dan Quinn

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 proposed bills would save neither taxpayers nor public schools money as supporters claim and would likely, in fact, ultimately cost billions of dollars each biennium. Redirecting that money from public schools would make a farce of the Texas Constitution’s requirement that the state fund public education, Miller said.

“The claims that these bills would save taxpayer dollars and wouldn’t hurt neighborhood public schools are so dishonest that they’re almost laughable,” Miller said. “Funding vouchers through tax credits is just a shell game that diverts tax dollars to private and religious schools. And ‘taxpayer savings grants’ is just cynical wordplay by politicians trying to hide the real cost to neighborhood schools and the kids they educate.”