Council Leaves the Door Open to Voucher Schemes
Legislature Did Not Intend to Permit Voucher Plan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2008
Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has released the following statement regarding a strategic plan for dropout prevention adopted today by the High School Completion and Success Initiative Council. Council members had earlier suggested that the strategic plan would leave the door open to private school vouchers as a method for addressing the high school dropout problem in Texas. The Legislature has refused to pass such a voucher scheme. In fact, the state House voted overwhelmingly last year to forbid any public funding for private school vouchers. In addition, state Rep. Rob Eissler, author of HB 2237, which established the council, told reporters yesterday that lawmakers did not intend for his legislation to create a voucher scheme.
Council members addressed the topic again today. Some members appeared to step back from earlier statements regarding vouchers, but the council ultimately did not explicitly rule out vouchers in the strategic plan itself.
"Council members themselves brought up vouchers, saying their strategic plan took nothing off the table, including voucher schemes that the Legislature has refused to pass. Nothing that happened today should reassure anyone that anything has really changed.
They could fix this easily by stating in the strategic plan that vouchers are off the table, but they chose not to do that. Instead, they left the door open for the commissioner to use a bureaucratic process to sneak through a voucher scheme that the Legislature won't pass and parents don't want."
The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of religious and community leaders who advance a mainstream agenda supporting public education, religious freedom and individual liberties.