“The education reform agenda outlined by Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst and Senator Patrick represents a strong start toward improving the quality of Texas education. While there is reason to be cautious about the reforms’ impact on private schools, a comprehensive package that improves our accountability system, strengthens school choice options will empower parents to make the best choice for their child’s future, substantially improve fiscal efficiency in Texas education, and strengthen our public schools through competition.
“Raising the cap on Texas open-enrollment charter schools and the creation of an education tax credit program in the plan will satisfy increasing parental demand for education options and ease Texas education costs that have been growing steadily through the last decade. From 1999 to 2009, per-pupil spending rose by 63 percent, almost double the rate of inflation, with few measurable testing gains at any level. During that same stretch, more and more parents have sought alternatives to their local public schools. The Texas Charter School Association now estimates that there are over 100,000 students waiting to attend charter schools in Texas.”
James Golsan is an education policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.