Battle Rages over School Choice DOA!
It's alarming that Republican Representative Dan Huberty from Kingwood, appointed chair by Speaker of the House Joe Straus to the House Public Education Committee, announced on February 28 in an interview with Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune, that, “Yes School Choice is dead.” Dead even before a bill reaches the full House or Senate!
This should be the year for School Choice in Texas. President Donald Trump is championing School Choice as part of his Make America Great Again and both Texas US Senators, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, have affirmed their support for School Choice.
Texas has two strong advocates for school choice in Governor Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov Dan Patrick. Governor Abbott in his State of the Union Address on January 31 made several comments pertaining to School Choice in Texas.
Texas should empower parents to choose the school that best fits their child’s needs. One size doesn’t fit all.
Parents, not government, are best positioned to make decisions on their child’s education. No child should be in the wrong school simply because of their zip code.
Gov. Abbott made it perfectly clear that the United States has 30 states with school choice and that Texas should be the 31st.
Lt. Gov Patrick couldn’t be clearer in his stance as he has been traveling extensively to promote school choice. Early in 2016 he sent out a Press Release vowing to expand school choice.
Lt. Governor Patrick on Texas Supreme Court Ruling School Finance as Constitutional
AUSTIN - Today, the Texas Supreme Court confirmed what we already knew. Texas' school finance system, while imperfect, is constitutional.
I will continue to look for ways to improve our state's school system performance and quality, while developing options to expand school choice for students across the state.
So, what could possibly go wrong? Could it be that the Texas Speaker of the House has not been a proponent of School Choice and that Huberty is protecting Texas legislators from constituents since it is a hot topic?
Regardless, the Republican Party platform lists as one of its Principles: Having an educated population, with parents having the freedom of choice for the education of their children. Not to mention the fact that 93% of the delegates attending the 2016 Texas Republican convention voted in favor of School Choice.
Robin Lennon from Kingwood Tea Party commented that, “District 127 is Rep. Huberty’s district and lies wholly with Harris County and they voted 87% for School Choice.” She also said that she works with Rep. Huberty on many issues but that they are not in agreement with school choice. “He threw the gauntlet down on school choice and I just had to respond. There are 900,000 students in failing schools out of the 5.3 million in Texas that Rep Huberty speaks of and these students should also have an opportunity to achieve their American Dream as well,” she said. She is more than willing to work side by side with Rep Huberty to bring about school choice to the students in Texas because she strongly feels all children deserve the right to be educated in a school that best addresses their needs.
Allen Parker President of the Justice Foundation in San Antonio is an ardent advocate for school choice and has worked hard towards Texas becoming a School Choice state. He sent out a Press Release immediately on March 1 asking for Rep Huberty to resign his committee chair.
The Justice Foundation President Calls for Resignation of House Public Education Committee Chair
In an admission startling for its candor, House Public Education Chairman Dan Huberty admitted that his priority is to "protect the members" of the Texas Legislature. His goal is to protect them from dealing with the issue of school choice which is a hard issue for legislators.
Approximately 85 percent of Republican primary voters in 2012, strongly supported school choice along the lines of SB 3, Senate Education Committee Larry Taylor's Bill creating Education Savings Accounts. Education Savings Accounts give parents a wide range of choices of where to send their child to school, public or private, and a portion of their education dollars, with financial savings to the state.
Polls of Hispanic and African American voters also show that they support school choice. Rational parents in low performing schools, of which there are over 1,000 under the Public Education Grant Program, want school choice. However, the establishment monopoly of public school districts, superintendents, teachers unions and TASB, all of which make their money from the current government monopoly, are opposed to school choice. They are absolutely opposed to meaningful accountability for failure. The only meaningful remedy for a child in a bad school is to get out now and go to a better school - that's real accountability, not paper accountability. This will also force all schools to improve.
Why should he resign as Chair? Because he is placing the interest of the legislators above the people of the State of Texas. It's a hard vote when constituencies’ conflict and he is protecting the members of the legislature.
I am not calling for his resignation from the Legislature. That is for the voters of his district to decide. He should resign or change his heart to one of service to the children and parents of Texas, not the members.
For a much better Texas and to serve the people of Texas, Rep Huberty just needs to shift his stance from the legislators to his constituents. Isn’t that why he was elected to serve the people?
THE RED REPORT©
Fight, NEVER GIVE UP!
Please click here to see a video of Dan Huberty making comments about school choice.
Interview Texas Tribune with Rep Dan Huberty (Full video)