Last week, Texas AFT’s endorsed candidate for Lt. Governor Mike Collier was attacked by far-right politicians and pundits when he asserted his support for public schools. In a clip taken from his speech at the Texas Democratic Convention and then posted by him on Twitter, Collier criticizes his opponent, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has supported privatization policies, such as private school vouchers, which would take money away from public schools. In the clip, Collier announced that as Lt. Governor he would push through an amendment to the Texas constitution to ban private school vouchers.
Private school vouchers take away money from already underfunded public schools and send it to private schools; wealthy families who already send their children to private schools are given a taxpayer-funded subsidy for their private school tuition. A recent Texas Parent PAC poll shows most parents support their local neighborhood public school (58%) and only one in four would choose to send their child to private school.
Rural areas are perhaps the most adversely affected by private school voucher schemes. The Parent PAC suggests 73% of rural parents are concerned that defunding public education at the state level to fund voucher schemes would take away money from rural school districts, forcing these school districts to educate the same amount of kids with less funding.
Despite these well-documented problems with private school voucher schemes, “school choice” advocates like Senator Ted Cruz, State Senator Paul Bettencourt, Fox News pundit Laura Ingraham, and former NRA Spokesperson Dana Loesch relentlessly attacked Collier on Twitter for his support of Texas public schools.
Mike Collier has been a longtime advocate for public schools. We appreciate Collier for repeatedly defending public school teachers and students from attacks by those who wish to privatize and profit off of our students and our schools. A recent poll from the University of Houston showed Mike Collier within 5 points of Dan Patrick amongst likely voters.