In our ordination vows as pastors we are called to speak for justice and for the well being of our communities. We do that is through non-partisan advocacy for issues that impact our communities.
One such issue this year in the Texas Legislature is that of school vouchers. The state house has consistently rejected voucher legislation yet the governor (whose party controls both houses of the legislature) continues to call special sessions to try to pass such legislation. Vouchers have consistently been shown across the nation to NOT increase access to education for poor or disadvantaged students.
Vouchers never cover the entire cost of private education and private schools can simply reject students they do not desire. Additionally, rural and small town communities suffer when funds are directed away from schools to largely suburban and urban private schools.
In fact, in many cases vouchers have simply allowed private schools to raise tuition. The Texas Constitution dictates that the state is required to provide free, public, education to ALL students. I have signed and sent to my representatives the letter below. I encourage you to educate yourself on this issue and communicate with your leaders as well. https://texasimpact.org/no-vouchers
Dear Texas Legislator,
As a proud Texan, I value the role public schools play in shaping our future. I oppose private school subsidies, also known as vouchers or education savings accounts. I believe private school subsidies are wasteful, deceitful, inefficient, and unfair.
Public school dollars should go only to public schools. Public schools in Texas are underfunded by billions of dollars every year. The Comptroller is projecting a large increase in state revenue over the next two years compared to the past two years, and that money should go to fully funding public education.
Private schools pick and choose which students to admit. Vouchers force taxpayers to subsidize private schools’ preferences. And without elected boards or state oversight, vouchers give away tax dollars with no financial or academic accountability.
Public schools educate more than 90 percent of Texas students, serving all the students in their boundaries. They build the workforce that powers the Texas economy. We can’t afford to underwrite a few special choices at the expense of our collective future.
We elect legislators to represent the interests of their communities. Responding to their communities, Texas legislators have rejected private school subsidies time after time.
In the face of increasing pressure from special interests, I pledge that I will stand with my legislators in opposing vouchers. When they vote against private school subsidies, I will make sure all their constituents know they did the right thing.