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Special Session: How Texas Lawmakers Can Empower Parents


Earlier this year, CPAC joined a broad coalition with other conservative groups urging Texas lawmakers to pass legislation which empowers parents with Education Savings Accounts (ESA) which can be used by parents to pick the best education option for their kids. After failing to pass ESA legislation during the regular session, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called for a special session beginning on October 9th.


Educational choice, popularized by Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, has become a leading policy among conservative legislators as a way to stand up to failing government schools and to put a stop to the growing embrace of Marxism in the classroom by teachers’ unions. The policy now enjoys overwhelming support, even across party lines.


Numerous studies on parental choice in education demonstrate its successes in improving test scores and academic achievement both for students in alternative programs and those who remain in public schools. A study on the effectiveness of school choice found that school choice programs had a positive effect in 31 of 33 cases. A strong correlation between state school choice laws and academic improvement makes a compelling case for the implementation of comprehensive parental choice in education in every state.


Parental choice in education has not only found success in suburban and urban areas. From 2007-2019, rural Arizonans saw a 21-point increase in math and reading test scores after K-12 Educational Scholarship Accounts (ESA) were introduced in 2011, while other schools across the country saw a decline by 2 points. Even post-pandemic, Arizona’s rural schools have seen a 9-point increase in test scores, while other rural areas outside Arizona dropped 17.


Recently, North Carolina became the tenth state to pass a version of universal school choice. Texas Republicans should stick together in the upcoming special session to join the growing list of states that fund students, not systems, by passing universal school choice.


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