In an Editorial which appeared in the Sunday, January 26, 2015 issue of the San Antonio Express-News, AUSA’s President Eric Lane spoke out against voucher legislation being proposed in the Texas legislature.
Noting that approximatedly 90% of all students in kindergarten through 12th grade attend public schools and that 9 out of 10 private schools are religious, Lane questions whether vouchers are less about “choice” and more about a backdoor way of funding private religious schools and siphoning money away from an already underfunded public school system. Lane cautions that “If voucher proponents succeed, it will mean the inevitable dismantling of our public school system“, Click here to read Lane’s entire message.
Texas Senate Bill 276, filed by State Senator Donna Campbell on January 6, 2015 and referred to the Committee on Education on January 28, 2015, proposes a voucher scheme that would be known as a ” taxpayer savings grant program” to be administered by the Texas Comptroller. The Bill provides for a payment from the state to the parent of a child who is enrolled in a private school selected by the parent. Most glaring is the Bill’s language that such a school “may not be required to comply with any state law or rule governing the school’s educational program that was not in effect on January 1, 2015. The Bill’s absence of any oversight that would prevent state funds distributed under its provisions from being used for religious instruction is lamentable and opens the door for possible future litigation.