Texas Governor Greg Abbott today addressed the Texas Legislature in his 2017 State of the State address, a biennial speech outlining the Governor’s priorities and emergency items for the legislative session. Among Governor Abbott’s priorities is passing legislation to expand school choice for Texas parents and students.
“Parents should be able to choose a school that is right for their child,” Governor Abbott said in his remarks. “Every child should have the chance to succeed and every child should have the ability to attend the school that’s best for them. Thirty states already have school choice. Let’s make Texas the 31st.”
Governor Abbott joins Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick in calling on lawmakers to expand school choice this session. Yesterday, Lt. Gov. Patrick announced the filing of Senate Bill 3, authored by Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), which upon passage would implement an optional education savings account program in Texas. Representative Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) has also filed House Bill 1335 to provide for an ESA program for special needs and at-risk students. Governor Abbott specifically mentioned both Senator Larry Taylor and Representative Ron Simmons in the school choice portion of his remarks.
“Opportunity must be universal and unrestrained by government. Governor Abbott’s call for school choice could better the lives of all Texans and keep our state the land of opportunity if the legislature acts,” TEO Board Chair Stacy Hock said in a statement.