Texas Freedom Network Rebukes Use of Vouchers to Divert Funding From Public School Students

April 12, 2023

CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected]

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas State House Committee on Public Education yesterday held hearings for a series of bills that would divert tax dollars from neighborhood students in public schools to instead subsidize religious schools and exclusive private schools. 

Texas Freedom Network Executive Director Val Benavidez issued the following response​:

“As a parent with children in Texas public schools, I am outraged by far-right legislators’ flagrant attempts to steal local funds from our students in public schools. Vouchers divert taxpayer dollars from our severely underfunded schools to subsidize tuition at unregulated private and religious schools. 

“Texans came out in hundreds to testify against voucher schemes. None of them received any answers as to how students from underserved areas would get transportation to private schools in better-resourced neighborhoods or how children in the state’s care could access vouchers. While their concerns, like the inherent inequality of issues like transportation, busing, and access for children in the state’s care went largely unaddressed, what was confirmed by various invited testifiers was that private and religious schools can discriminate against any child or family by refusing them admission. 

“By siphoning off crucial educational funding to religious and private schools that are unprepared to serve our children, Texas would be denying students from every zip code, of all races, and from families of all incomes the opportunity to learn and dream. State House Republicans and Democrats must come together to vote against voucher schemes that would severely hurt our diverse and rural communities.” 

HB 619, HB 3781, HB 4340, HB 4807, and HB 4969 were left pending in committee.