POSTED: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 9:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 9:44pm
Last year, Louisiana legislators adopted what education experts describe as the nation’s most expansive laws regarding school choice and vouchers.
Louisiana became the ninth state to adopt a school voucher program — a debate that promises to take the forefront of the 83rd Texas legislative session that starts in January.
The issue is already picking up steam. State Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, has introduced a proposal for a constitutional amendment to prohibit funding elementary or secondary education through a voucher program. Opponents argue vouchers will take money away from public schools which need the funds to educate all students.
Proponents of school vouchers, such as Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, who is the new chairman of the Senate Education Committee, argue parents have a right to choose where their children go to school, regardless of their income.
“To me, school choice is the photo ID bill of this session,” Patrick told the Associated Press in August. “Our base has wanted us to pass photo voter ID for years, and we did it. They’ve been wanting us to pass school choice for years. This is the year to do it, in my view. That issue will do more to impact the future of Texas and the quality of education than anything else we could do.”
State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, is on record — repeatedly — saying he is opposed to a voucher program because he is “in favor of public money going to public purposes.”
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