AFP on School Choice Hearings

April 09, 2013

Statement by Americans for Prosperity Texas Director Peggy Venable
On School Choice Hearings
April 9, 2013

Legislators are being asked to put children first as they consider school choice legislation.

We support legislation which empowers parents to select the best educational option for their children.

Today, students’ opportunities are limited by their parents’ zip code as government assigns kids to government schools based on geography. This puts those with limited resources at risk. Poor parents often cannot move to a better school district, nor can they homeschool or afford private school tuition. we do not limit use of the G.I. Bill to only public colleges and universities.

School choice is the civil rights issue of our generation.

Today, 315,000 Texas students are trapped in over 500 failing schools. This is simply not acceptable.

Our education dollars should educate the child, not enrich the education bureaucracy. In public schools today, instruction gets only half the education dollars (maintenance and operation as well as debt service). That is not acceptable.

Texas schools also have one-to-one teacher/non teacher ratio. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, during a 16-year period in Texas, student enrollment grew 37 percent, teacher ranks grew 50% and non-teacher staff grew an astonishing 172 percent. That is not acceptable.

If the public school monopoly fears a mass exodus should parents be allowed to choose their children’s school, the public school lobby must have little confidence in the product they are delivering or the parents’ satisfaction with their public school. And that simply is not acceptable.

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