Statement on Gov. Abbott’s ‘School Choice’ Press Conference


Aug. 11, 2022 


Texas AFT President Zeph Capo commented today after Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference to discuss “school choice” at The King’s Academy, a private “Christ-centered” school in Dallas:  

All I can say about Gov. Greg Abbott’s press conference today at a private religious school is that it was an amazing display of linguistic gymnastics.  

While he spoke of “parental empowerment” and “different options” for education, Abbott may have avoided the word “voucher,” but that’s exactly his goal. It’s no surprise, though, that he’d avoid talking transparently about vouchers given so few Texans support them.  

At a time when our teachers make more than $7,000 less than their national peers, when the state hasn’t increased its share of funding for our schools in four years, and when districts are starting school with hundreds of staffing vacancies because of mass demoralization, the governor has chosen this moment to flirt with sending our tax dollars to privately run, publicly unaccountable schools.  

If the governor truly cared about empowering parents, he would focus on more funding for the schools that get the most favorable ratings from Texas parents: their neighborhood public schools.  

By focusing his efforts on pushing through a tax break for the wealthy at the expense of both urban and rural schools, Gov. Abbott proves once again he’s out of touch with Texans. In recent polling from Texas Parent PAC, 7 in 10 Texas voters said they are concerned vouchers will hand money to wealthy families to keep their kids in private and religious schools while doing nothing to help lower-income families or kids in rural areas.  

Time and time again, Gov. Abbott has shown he does not respect our public school educators, and with his nods and winks to vouchers, he also shows his disregard for rural Texas communities, where local public schools are often the largest employers.  

When a politician tells you who they are, believe them. Whichever buzzwords he uses, Gov. Abbott has told us who he is. We believe him. And he can expect us in November.