Last year, the outgoing members of the Texas State Board of Education took a parting shot at parents, rejecting the voters’ clear wishes to empower parents and ensure that families can make the educational decisions that work best for them. In 2022, 88% of Texas Republicans voted in support of parental choice. Today, a new more conservative SBOE reversed the lame duck vote and removed the SBOE’s opposition to parent empowerment.

Today’s vote follows on the heels of Gov. Abbott throwing his support behind parental empowerment and Education Savings Accounts, declaring “No one knows better how a child can flourish than their parent. But without education freedom, parents are hindered in helping their own child. That must change, and it must change this legislative session.”

“Parents want, need, and deserve great educational options for their children. Both Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick have declared that empowering parents is one of their highest priorities,” said Mandy Drogin, campaign director for TPPF’s Next Generation Texas Campaign. “We are grateful to the SBOE members who voted to remove the SBOE’s opposition to parental choice.”

Most of our children are below grade level and they are not catching up. Parents recognize this problem and are seeking—but cannot access—great schools: there are 60,000 students on charter school waitlists and another 20,000 on the waitlist for Texas’ SSES program,” said Michael Barba, K-12 Education Policy Director for TPPF’s Next Generation Texas Campaign.

“The SBOE today recognized the urgent need to empower parents; they should be praised for this good step forward.”