Smith County school districts question Gov. Abbott’s voucher plan

9 Smith County school district leaders speak out against school choice vouchers
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 12:34 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2023 at 8:09 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Tyler area superintendents and school board members gathered Wednesday at Tyler ISD Career & Technology Center to discuss the school voucher plan being discussed at the Texas state capitol.

“East Texas, particularly in Smith County, has always enjoyed a special and cordial relationship among the different school options that have existed successfully over the past 50 plus years,” Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford said. “Educational independence and relationships already exist as a foundation for daily life. And yet, instead of building upon those partnerships, we see attacks at that collaboration when competitive teacher salaries in alignment with other professions should be the focus of any statewide political campaign tour.”

Tyler ISD School Board President Wade Washmon spoke on behalf of the Board.

“The state government is offering to use public dollars to outright fund Christian schools through vouchers,” Washmon said. “How does that work? Sounds like a conflict of interest.”

“One has to wonder why Austin, Texas is so aggressively injecting itself into this region, county, and city while not addressing the most impactful influencer on student outcomes and ultimately our economy: a well-qualified, well-paid, high-performing educator in front of every K-12 student,” Crawford said.

Superintendents from Arp, Chapel Hill, Lindale, and Whitehouse ISDs also voiced their agreement that the proposed voucher program would merely create problems for the public school system.

Smith County school districts question voucher plan