FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2023
Texas AFT and Every Texan commented Wednesday on the $16 billion fiscal note for CSHB100 and its private school voucher over the next five years. Both organizations published research jointly this spring that indicated the cost of across-the-board raises for Texas school employees ($10,000 for teachers and certified staff, 15% for classified support staff) would cost under $14 billion during the same time period.
“We have said all session that this Legislature can have fully funded public schools that help kids thrive. Or it can have vouchers. It cannot have both. Now, with this new school finance bill, lawmakers have proved it. This Frankenstein’s bill will cost Texas taxpayers $16 billion over the next five years.
What will that $16 billion get us? A voucher program Texans — especially rural Texans — do not want. What’s left behind? Raises for teachers and staff that are universally popular and more funding for the public schools they say they love.”
— Zeph Capo, president of Texas AFT
“It is beyond disappointing that the Texas Senate took a well-intentioned step forward for school finance as a hostage for school vouchers that will rob our public schools of even more funding.
If we can afford $16 billion for a version of HB 100 that does nothing to retain and recruit educators or expand services for students, then we can afford a version of HB 100 that does those things and more. The money is there. What we lack is the will of our elected leaders.
The rhetoric used to sell vouchers to Texans centers on defaming public schools as ‘failing.’ I can definitely say that it is not our schools failing our kids; it is this Legislature.”
— Chandra Villanueva, director of policy and advocacy for Every Texan
The Texas American Federation of Teachers represents 66,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO.
At Every Texan, we envision a Texas where people of all backgrounds can fulfill their potential and contribute to our community. We expose unfair barriers faced by people of color, low-income Texans, immigrants, women, children, and other disenfranchised populations. We work alongside community leaders to advance equitable policy solutions.