The Source: What Might Vouchers Mean For Texas
The latest effort to improve Texas education involves vouchers. Instead of being confined by zip codes, families could elect to send their children to private and specialty schools, and the dollars allocated to students follow them.
While this plan would allow students to choose schools based on individual needs rather than their addresses, critics point out that vouchers may create more disparity.
The plan would make moves to private schools possible by using state funds to cover tuition costs. However, opponents to the proposal argue that this will only benefit middle class, not struggling, families. Another question asks how the money would be regulated and whether more accountability measures need to be built into the private school system.
Bill supporters, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, argue that possible negative effects on public schools would not be as drastic as critics claim. The majority of students would stay in public schools and vouchers would give lower-income students more equal education opportunities. Supporters also cite freedoms promised to all Texas as including the choice of school.
Where do you stand on these issues? Are vouchers the answer to Texas's education problems or just a new complication?
- Brian Woods, superintendent of Northside Independent School District
- Kent Grusendorf, Director for Education Freedom at The Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tanks in Austin