State Education Board Adds to Conservative Voices Coming Out Against Patrick's Voucher Plans

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As if there weren't already enough public voices coming out against Sen. Dan Patrick's neo-voucher scheme -- Republican Rep. Joe Strauss, the Speaker of the House, already noted that a bill diverting public dollars to private education would never make it pass his chamber -- there's another prominent conservative organization to add to the list. The State Board of Education, of creationist and controversial acclaim, passed a resolution 10-5 last Friday forgoing the sort of funding schemes Patrick's bill would attempt to implement.

According to the resolution, the SBOE will "reject all vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, tax credits, or any other mechanisms that have the effect of reducing funding to public schools." While the resolution shouldn't have any technical impact on the potential passage of Patrick's favored resolution, it's another public jackboot against what he believed would be the "voter ID" of the session.

As with most things passing through the SBOE, the motion needed to have at least nominal Republican support. And much like Strauss's earlier comment avowing no voucher would pass through his House, it seems rural Republicans, five of whom sided with this resolution, have once more come out in force against the notion of vouchers within Texas.

Per the Texas Tribune, certain of the Republicans supporting the measure cited the reality that the government would likely have greater sway over private and religious institutions were Patrick's bill to pass. "I am a limited-government conservative," Marty Rowly, a Republican from Amarillo, said. "And because of that it concerns me when I see taxpayer dollars going to the private sector."

Fortunately, hyperbole didn't completely die off with the bill's passage. Tincy Miller, a hard-right Republican from Dallas, staked that this resolution somehow failed to align with her ability to raise her children however she sees fit. "I believe in the American right to educate my children in the manner that I want," she said, presumably to the straw man in her mind who disagreed.

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