AUSTIN – Today the Texas House voted to prevent final discussion of HB 21, a school-financing bill that included a parental choice program for students with special needs. The House sent the Senate-amended bill to conference but with the instruction that the parental choice program could not be part of the final version. This action effectively ended the possibility of increased funding for public schools and increased educational opportunities for students with special needs.
“TPPF is a vocal, longtime advocate for true education freedom for all Texas children, especially the most vulnerable,” said Dr. Kevin Roberts, a longtime educator and executive vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “We are deeply disappointed by the majority of the House putting politics ahead of children. And yet we applaud the courageous leadership of Gov. Patrick, Sen. Larry Taylor, and Rep. Ron Simmons, each of whom has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of children.”
Stephanie Matthews, senior policy advisor for the Center for Education Freedom, highlighted the needs of those children.
“Having met so many families and special needs children whose lives would have been transformed with access to special needs educational choice, I can only imagine their disappointment that HB 21 has failed," said Matthews. "We applaud the leadership of those legislators who fought for them, and we will continue to advocate for meaningful options for all children, especially those with special needs not being met in the current system.”
Dr. Roberts continued: “Texas schoolchildren and their parents, the vast majority of whom support parental choice, will, one day realize this dream. TPPF will never—NEVER—stop fighting for them and for the promise of all Texans one day flourishing in true liberty and equality of opportunity.”
Kevin Roberts, Ph.D., is executive vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Stephanie Matthews is the senior policy advisor in the Center for Education Freedom.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas. The Texas Public Policy Foundation aims to advance a societal framework that effectively fosters human flourishing based upon cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and speech.