Education experts respond to Governor Abbott’s Parent Empowerment Night

With governor Greg Abbott’s visit to Amarillo quickly approaching to discuss a voucher program...
With governor Greg Abbott’s visit to Amarillo quickly approaching to discuss a voucher program for parents.
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:10 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2023 at 10:18 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) -Educations experts and leaders in Amarillo gathered today to talk about the affect vouchers will have on public schools.

With Governor Greg Abbott’s visit to Amarillo quickly approaching to discuss a voucher program for parents, local education advocates believe if his school choice policy passes, it would take tax payers money away from public schools.

The Texas Tribune reports, Governor Abbott pushed the program as “parents choice” to select the vehicle of education they believe is best for their student.

“Instead of looking for ways to divert my neighbors tax payer dollars to private institutions that aren’t accountable to them, the state should be looking to invest more in our public school system,” says Kimberly Anderson, Amarillo Independent School District Board Member.

“School vouchers will have unintended consequences that hurt Texas children,” says Patrick Miller, Local Campus Administrator.

The Texas Tribune says school choice is a term used to describe programs that give parents state money, to send their children to schools outside of public education options.

It’s more commonly known as “vouchers,” which are state given scholarships to private schools.

“Governor Greg Abbott is visiting our city to tout educational savings accounts which by any name, a voucher, that would if passed, take valuable taxpayer money from schools at a time when more money not less is needed to fund them,” said Skylar Gallup, Regional Advocacy Director, Raise Your Hand Texas.

“Public schools remain the most inclusive option for setting up our students for success regardless of their backgrounds,” continues Miller.

Some believe an education savings account would take money away from their school districts, as the state funds schools based on student attendance.

“We would have loved the opportunity to show the governor the amazing opportunities and choices available to our students and parents in AISD,” continued Anderson.

San Jacinto Christian Academy, a private school that could benefit from the governors’ voucher plan, is hosting parent empowerment night.

AISD would then lose state dollars.

“Texas should not fund a two tiered system where the private schools can sort and select the students they keep. The governor will promote fear and misinformation, all to take money from public schools like the one in your neighborhood,” stated Anette Carlisle, President of Amarillo College Board of Regents.