Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick and the pro-voucher crowd apparently are still fooling a lot of people into thinking that the millions of tax dollars they want to take from public schools and transfer to private schools are to help low-income children afford private school tuition.
“Why do you want to trap poor kids in bad schools?” someone recently tweeted. The language suggests this person either was paid to tweet the standard pro-voucher line or had fallen for it hook, line and sinker.
The truth of the matter is that low-income students are just about the last people on the minds of the pro-voucher crowd, and the proof is in Senate Bill 8, the voucher bill blessed by Lt. Gov. Patrick. It would provide $8,000 to each child selected for a voucher or education savings account. This is thousands of dollars less than the tuition at many private schools, especially the better ones, where tuition can be as high as $20,000 or $30,000 or more.
Low-income families simply aren’t going to be able to make up the difference. Sure, some private schools have lower, bargain tuition. But would their kids really be better off there?
Vouchers are intended mainly to give a tuition subsidy or entitlement to upper-middle-income and wealthy families who want to send their children to private school and don’t need help from every other taxpayer in Texas.