Waco, TX (FOX 44) — The Texas House on Thursday filed its plan for a slight increase for public school funding while establishing a program for education savings accounts.
Several Central Texas public school districts in our area are not in favor of Governor Greg Abbott continuing the financial push to support outside educational options.
Public school officials want to receive their funds to still support students in the community.
“It has been frustrating for the public schools, the superintendents, and, this is not what we need in the State of Texas,” said Dr. Susan Kincannon, superintendent of Waco ISD.
Dr. Kincannon says the discussion for education savings account has been going on for years.
Before the House unveiled its plan, the Senate passed its bill to allocate $500 million into the ESA program for the next two years.
“I’ve never seen a situation in which the governor held our legislators hostage over doing some the right things for public schools to get this through a session,” said Dr. Kincannon.
Belton ISD board of trustee’s president Manuel Alcozer says he’s concerned the plan won’t hold private schools to the same expectations and guidelines public schools have to receive funding.
Another concern both Alcozer and Dr. Kincannon have is on the plan not considering the affordability of outside educational options and the socioeconomics of public school families.
“Certain households are not going to be able to afford it. Its not even going to be a consideration, so what kids is it going to benefit? Its not going to benefit all kids,” said Alcozer.
On the contrary, National School Choice Awareness Foundation CEO Andrew Campanella says ESA’s can help parents who want different options for their kids.
“Look at health and safety factors, bullying, whether their kids are feeling comfortable and safe in schools and saying, okay, this might not be a good fit, and so they want to choose a different environment,” said Campanella.
Campanella says ESA’s help reflect all choices a parent can make to best support a student.