AUSTIN, TEXAS—The following statement on the Senate Education Committee’s approval of school vouchers (SB 3) should be attributed to Dr. Guy Sconzo, executive director of the Fast Growth School Coalition:
“Voucher supporters speak of a ‘deadly cocktail’ of local debt and overcrowding as a justification for school vouchers (SB 3), but they fail to mention that the ‘bartenders’ serving this drink are some state lawmakers who would rather decrease state facilities funding for public schools, while forcing local taxpayers to pick up an ever-increasing share of the tab.
“Senate Bill 3 diverts critical funding from our Texas public schools at a time when they’re already facing additional cuts to facilities funding in the Senate’s version of the budget through the elimination of the New Instructional Facilities Allotment and other related programs.
“Seventy-nine percent of the new students entering Texas schools these past five years reside in just 75 school districts. These are 75 of the our most successful school districts, and these public schools are the reason businesses and families move to the state and to these sought after ‘destination districts.’
“Most fast growth districts no longer receive state funding for facilities, placing an increased burden on local taxpayers to build classroom space and facilities to accommodate the influx of new students.
“We look forward to working with the larger Senate and the Texas House to address the issues of our rapidly growing public school districts that are the backbone of our state’s educational success and a very real economic development tool for our state.”
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Fast Growth School Coalition is online at www.fastgrowthtexas.org, Twitter @FastGrowthTexas and Facebook.com/FastGrowthTexas.
Media contact: Jennifer Harris, jharris (at) jwhcommunications (dot) com or 512-773-7168.