AUSTIN – The signing of the first statewide universal school choice law in Utah sends a strong signal to Texas legislators that they should act now to provide educational freedom and opportunity to Texas families, according to the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. signed the “Parent Choice in Education Act” last evening. It provides scholarships ranging from $500 to $3,000, based on family income, for parents to use at any eligible private school. All current public school children are eligible, as well as children in private school whose families qualify for the federal free and reduced price lunch program.
“Utah lawmakers recognize that parents are best equipped to make important decisions regarding their own children’s educations,” said TPPF education policy analyst Jamie Story. “The Texas Legislature should provide low-income Texans with not only the same right, but also the means to do so.”
Story highlighted her recent commentary on Texas’ dropout crisis, which was published by the Houston Chronicle and several other Texas newspapers, saying that it established both the need and the benefits of making public schools compete for students.
“The Edgewood experience proves that a system of school choice helps all students, both those who left the public schools and those who stayed,” Story continued. “Texas should join the likes of Milwaukee, Washington, DC, and now Utah in allowing parents to choose the best setting in which to educate their children.”
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas. Additional information on school choice (including Story’s Houston Chronicle commentary) is available on the Foundation’s website, www.TexasPolicy.com.
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