They all argue that the public schools in their districts are working just fine.
Really? King represents a Texas Panhandle school district where less than half of students are at or above grade level in reading, and only 40% of students in his district are at or above grade level in math. VanDeaver represents a northeast Texas district where only 52% of students in his district are at or above grade level in reading, and only 43% are at or above grade level for math. Darby’s Central Texas district has less than half of the children reading or doing math at or above grade level.
An additional Republican lawmaker, state Rep. Ernest Bailes from the small Southeast Texas city of Shepherd, is voting against choice even though only 27% of students are performing at or above grade level in math in his district.
Are these Republicans really arguing this miserable performance is the best Texas can do for its children? The opponents also fail to acknowledge that the bill they oppose actually directs more money per student for rural district schools and higher pay for teachers. Meanwhile, states such as Arizona report improvements in test scores in rural areas once schools had to compete for students with private schools.
All this is to say that education choice is proving to be a win-win for Texas children that stay in public schools and the families who are given the funds to opt for better alternatives.