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Government/Politics

Former U.S. Sen. Gramm Defends School Vouchers At State Capitol

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Phil Gramm

Senate education leaders heard both sides of an argument to bring a private school voucher-system to the state on Thursday. Some of that testimony included hearing former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm, who spoke out very strongly in favor of the bill.

Gramm has been a longtime advocate for private school vouchers. He was invited to speak in front of the Senate’s Education Committee on New Braunfels Republican Sen. Donna Campbell’s bill.

“This is not public money, there is not public money. This is taxpayer money. This money is coming from parents. Let me also say, I’m very concerned about the inner cities and we need to do something. But freedom isn’t confined to the inner city, every child in Texas ought to have a choice,” Gramm reiterated, clearly fired up.

That’s something Tammy Perry, a San Antonio mother of five can agree with, she testified in support of the bill. “As a parent, I’m going to make a decision that is best for my child. So my child may be in a school that’s a good school, but there may be one that’s better,” said Perry.

But even with the number of people that signed up to testify in support of Sen. Campbell’s bill, El Paso Democratic Sen. José Rodriguez is still concerned it won’t make it out of the House. “Speaker Straus and others have raised the questions about vouchers not having any accountability. And so, if that’s the case, and they stick to their guns on that, how are we going to get this through the House?” Rodriguez questioned Campbell.

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Credit Ryan E. Poppe
New Braunfels Republican Sen Donna Campbell

Campbell replied that the bill would be a work in progress once voters approved the measure. She said she would not consider any changes to the legislation that would add an accountability system for private schools receiving state dollars from a voucher system.