Local representatives Senator Dawn Buckingham and State Representative Stan Lambert are stepping into the debate over school choice programs. Senate Bill 3 would allow low-income parents to use tax dollars to send their children to private or religious schools. The second half of the bill allows businesses to receive tax credits for contributing to scholarships. Both Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have supported the bill. But critics of the bill say the school choice program takes away money from public schools.
Buckingham, the state senator for the Big Country area, said she supports the program because it will empower disadvantaged students to have the same opportunities as wealthy students. Other programs across the country have worked for special needs service, so Buckingham said this will work in Texas.
Lambert on the other hand, said he does not support the school choice program but rather supports full funding of public schools. He said Texans already have school choice with options in public, private and charter schools. Fully funding the public school system in a fair manner is his priority before considering other educational options.