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Teach the Vote Week in Review: Feb. 9, 2024

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Texas Legislature Elections Privatization | Vouchers

Date Posted: 2/09/2024

The ATPE Governmental Relations team recaps the past week’s education news, legislative and election updates, and regulatory developments.

PRIMARIES: If you live in one of the House districts represented by a Republican who voted for the Raney amendment—which stripped a private school voucher program from a school finance bill during the fourth special session—you are very clear that a primary election is coming up. The rhetoric is heated and often distorted, as the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel pointed out in this blistering editorial on Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) anti-public education primary campaigning. As we prepare for early voting to begin Feb. 20, please take a moment to read two articles from the Spring 2024 ATPE News: “Fed Up? It’s Time to Show Up” by ATPE Marketing & Communications Director Kate Johanns and “What Makes a Candidate Pro-Public Education?” by ATPE Governmental Relations Director Monty Exter.

Keep these primary election dates on your calendar:

  • Feb. 20: Early voting begins 
  • Feb. 23: Last day to apply for a ballot to vote by mail 
  • March 1: Early voting ends 
  • March 5: Election Day

ATPE VOTER PLEDGE: If you’re an ATPE member, don’t forget to take the ATPE Pledge to Vote Pro-Public Education (ATPE Advocacy Central login required). And please consider making a video urging your fellow educators and public education advocates to vote pro-public education with you in the primary election!

VOUCHERS: As you talk to colleagues, family, and friends about what it means to vote pro-public education, you may find yourself answering questions about why supporting a private school voucher program disqualifies a candidate from being pro-public education (no matter how much they say they love teachers). ATPE Senior Lobbyist Mark Wiggins explains how vouchers work to the detriment of education funding in this Teach the Vote blog post, and this article from The Nation explores the budget deficits states that have instituted “limited” voucher programs now find themselves in.

ATPE WEBINAR: Don’t forget that ATPE Governmental Relations’ recent webinar “Primary Elections: The REAL March Madness” is available for viewing on demand:



Cathy Wood

Will private schools still be able to be selective about students they accept, and will they have to give state tests and be rated on them if they accept government money?

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