“The death of the voucher bill is a victory for public education and Texas taxpayers. This voucher plan would have worsened the budgetary problems of under-funded public schools while enriching unregulated private schools with tax dollars.” Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) President Ovidia Molina
ETR Staff Report
Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) President Ovidia Molina applauded the defeat of a bill she said would have been a financial nightmare for education in the Lone Star State.
“The death of the voucher bill is a victory for public education and Texas taxpayers,” she said. “This voucher plan would have worsened the budgetary problems of under-funded public schools while enriching unregulated private schools with tax dollars.”
The TSTA credits Rep. Ken King and additional House members for their successful stand for public education, resisting vouchers following the state Senate’s hijacking of House Bill 100, a school funding measure. Senate conferees refused to negotiate. Had the proposal passed it would have cost taxpayers and public schools a half billion dollars over the coming two years, and additional billions in succeeding years.
“We are still angry that Governor Abbot, Lt. Governor Patrick and their allies gave private schools a higher priority than public schools while wasting an opportunity to use a record $33 billion budget surplus to give underpaid teachers and other school employees meaningful pay raises and increase the classroom resources that public schools need for their teachers,” said Molina.
Despite the proposal’s defeat standard teacher salaries in Texas will still lag behind the national average by more than $7700, forcing a whopping 40% of Texas teachers to work at additional jobs during the school year to make ends meet. Also, many teachers may permanently leave their jobs they can no longer afford to keep, worsening teacher shortages. Pupils and students will endure the greatest consequences as they lose those who would guide them through the educational processes they need for successful adult lives.
“We hope Governor Abbott understands the message from the voucher bill’s failure and the strong anti-voucher vote in the House earlier this session and gives up his plans to waste legislators’ time and taxpayers’ money on a special session for another futile attempt to pass a voucher bill,” said Molina. “But if he renews his voucher attack against public schools, we will be ready to continue our fight to protect public education.”