Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is making a school voucher plan a top priority for a major education bill currently in the state House. Democratic state Rep. James Talarico is doing his best to make sure people understand that the plan is a giveaway to the wealthy.
Abbott’s plan would give $10,500 a year for families, including ones who can afford private school without government assistance, to send their kids to private school, including religious schools. At one committee hearing, Talarico used his time questioning a witness about the plan to show what a scam it is.
Talarico brought data—the overwhelming majorities of voucher students in other states who were already in private school when their families started getting state money—and a hypothetical that the witness had to admit was possible: that a wealthy CEO could get tens of thousands of dollars to send their kids to private school, “enough for a new Mercedes for that CEO, at the expense of my students on the westside of San Antonio,” Talarico, a former teacher, said, “and students in the Third Ward of Houston, and students in the Rio Grande Valley, and students in suburbs and small towns around this state.”
Abbott’s voucher plan is even drawing significant Republican opposition, while Abbott threatens to veto the entire bill and force the legislature into special sessions if he doesn’t get his way. Talarico showed just what Abbott is pushing so hard: