Politics is often hard to follow. This year, more than 7,000 bills were filed in the Texas Legislature, and a lot can get lost in that mix. For the average parent or teacher, tracking education legislation is simply not possible—we have more pressing things to do, like work, raise our children, and teach them to be good Texans and Americans.
Sadly, opponents of parental empowerment—like public school administrators and their unions—are trying to capitalize on the fact we are busy parents and teachers and can’t track their every move. Over the past two weeks, public school leaders and union reps—like the Dallas ISD superintendent—have unleashed a concerted messaging campaign against the Texas Legislature.
The Legislature didn’t pass enough funding for schools, so there are budget shortfalls, teachers won’t get pay raises, the sky is falling, and little Johnny’s class may have to get merged with another class because of a teacher shortage (because, of course, the public schools don’t have enough money).
This would be a sad and compelling tale, if it were true.
However, it’s not. It’s a lie through and through.
The Legislature did, in fact, increase public school funding—to the tune of over $5 billion dollars. However, none of that funding was required to go to teacher pay raises, so it will, of course, go somewhere else. Because time and time again, administrators and union-backed “consultants” find other wasteful ways to spend public education funding meant for our teachers.
But, even more than that, the Legislature did try to pass a bill that would have allocated an additional $4.4 billion—some of this marked specifically for teacher pay raises—towards public education.
And yet, the parent empowerment opponents killed that bill.
The bill (HB 100) also included an Education Savings Account program that would have empowered parents with a choice of where to send their kids.
You see, it’s not actually about the money for the public school monopoly.
It’s about control—over the education system and over the students.
But of course, because a specific bill for teacher pay raises didn’t pass through the legislative session, unions and lobbyists need to cover their obstructionist tracks and must now complain about the lack of raises. They can’t tell teachers they torpedoed their pay raises to block parental choice, so they will now blame legislators who listen to us dastardly parents and their frustrating dedication to ensuring that their kids get a good education.
This is gaslighting, misdirection and dishonesty cannot stand—and, thanks to the tireless efforts of TPPF, Gov. Greg Abbott, legislators, and you, the parents, it will not. This year, the governor will call a special session on parental choice and education reform, and Texas will empower parents with a robust ESA program.
We all know that great teachers deserve a pay raise, and every parent deserves the right to select the best education for their own child.
This year, Texas will empower parents.