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ATPE statement on Gov. Greg Abbott's special session call

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

School Finance Texas Legislature Privatization | Vouchers

Date Posted: 10/09/2023

ATPE Executive Director Shannon Holmes has the following statement on Gov. Greg Abbott’s call for the third special session of the 88th Legislature, which began at 1 p.m. Monday:

“As legislators return to the Capitol, Texas educators continue to be disappointed with the governor’s priorities, or lack thereof, regarding public education. Despite the significant challenges facing Texas public schools—including a growing number of school districts going into deficit budgets to provide pay raises, as well as being forced to consider campus closures—Gov. Abbott’s single education priority is providing a discount on private school tuition. We knew this session would be little more than a pretext to push vouchers, but the governor’s call has made it clear that vouchers are not only his top education priority but also his only education priority.”

“Especially concerning is the governor’s use of the word ‘all.’ Providing the type of voucher program the governor is calling for could saddle taxpayers with a new entitlement program costing as much as $5 billion per year. Forcing taxpayers to fund a system that includes neither state accountability nor the oversight of locally elected officials amounts to taxation without representation. It’s just a taxpayer-funded handout for private schools and the families who are already choosing to attend them.

“ATPE remains opposed to any private school voucher program, and we place our full support behind legislators who stand with the Texas public education community and won’t compromise the future of 5.4 million public schoolchildren.”

About the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE)
Founded in 1980, ATPE is the leading educators’ association in Texas with approximately 90,000 members statewide. With its strong collaborative philosophy, ATPE speaks for classroom teachers, administrators, and future, retired, and para-educators and works to create better opportunities for Texas’ more than five million public school students. | atpe.org


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