December 9, 2023


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Greg Abbott’s dream of defunding public colleges is one step nearer

3 min read
Greg Abbott

The Texas Senate handed a controversial invoice earlier this week that may give state cash to folks to spend on personal colleges, supporting Gov. Greg Abbott’s long-time pledge to push for “faculty alternative” for households in Texas.

For months, the Republican governor has been mobilizing to cross a measure that may permit mother and father to resolve “What is the best education option?” For his or her youngsters by giving them sufficient cash to take the youngsters out of public colleges.

Whereas the measure Abbott was pushing for has been criticized by many, together with educators, who accused him of making an attempt to defund and handle public colleges, the Republican governor mentioned “nothing may very well be farther from the reality.”

Greg Abbott
Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks throughout a information convention on the Texas State Capitol on June 08, 2023 in Austin, Texas. The Texas Senate has handed a controversial invoice that may give state cash to folks slightly than public colleges to spend on personal colleges.
Brandon Bell/Getty Photographs

“That is truly not true,” he mentioned, as Fox 26 Houston reported in April. “Per-student funding in public colleges is at an all-time excessive, and this session we’ll add more cash for public training, in addition to increase instructor pay.”

Abbott added that his management funds public colleges “higher than ever.”

On Thursday, the GOP-controlled Texas Senate, which incorporates 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats, handed a invoice that may create the college voucher program that Abbott is looking for. This program would use state funds to create training financial savings accounts that may permit mother and father to entry $8,000 in taxpayer cash to take their youngsters to personal colleges, together with paying for tuition, uniforms, textbooks and extra.

The laws — Senate Invoice 1 — will now transfer to the Texas Home, the place it’s anticipated to endure additional scrutiny, but when it passes it’s sure to be signed into legislation by Abbott. An almost equivalent invoice, Senate Invoice 8, handed the Senate in April, however was rejected by the Home.

On the identical day, the Senate additionally handed Senate Invoice 2, which might pump $5.2 billion into faculty districts to assist academics with rising prices.

Throughout an occasion Thursday on the conservative Texas Public Coverage Basis, Abbott mentioned he would add instructor pay will increase to his agenda within the upcoming particular session “to supply the carrot to verify this laws passes.”

Whereas supporters of the voucher program consider mother and father ought to be given the chance to ship their youngsters to personal colleges if the general public system doesn’t meet their wants, opponents say the measure would damage already struggling public faculty districts.

Republican Sen. Brandon Creighton, who authored SB 1, mentioned the measure wouldn’t hurt public colleges, including that cash to fund this system would come from basic revenues and never from the Basis Colleges Program, which funds Ok-12 public colleges in Texas.

However Texas public faculty funds rely on the variety of college students they enroll, that means colleges are more likely to miss out on important quantities if mother and father begin taking their youngsters away.

An modification included in SB 1 would give faculty districts with fewer than 5,000 youngsters $10,000 for every scholar whose mother and father are eliminated due to a three-year voucher program.

Newsweek I reached out to Abbott’s press workplace for remark through e mail on Friday.

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