Texas school choice: a legislative ‘missed opportunity’

School choice is perhaps one of the most tragic “missed opportunities” in today’s public policy arena.

From Watchdog Arena:

“There remains a great deal to do.” That’s the assessment of Kent Grusendorf, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Education Freedom, when discussing education reform and outcomes of the 84th Texas Legislature at a recent TPPF event.

A vision of education freedom is reflected in the Center’s three goals: providing maximum – universal – school choice; wanting teachers treated like professionals including an allowance for their ownership and operation of charter schools; and finding other efficiencies in support of the Texas Constitution’s call for “an efficient system of public free schools.”

Grusendorf, a veteran leader on education issues as both a former Texas House Public Education Committee chairman and former State Board of Education member, said the first two goals weren’t met during the recent session. Despite passage of a school choice bill by the Texas Senate, the House elected to not schedule a public hearing, so the legislation died.

An A-to-F school ratings scale offering parents and communities a new measure of how their local schools are performing was one of two bright spots. The lifting of a county-level restriction allowing colleges and universities to create more charter school opportunities was the other.

Quoting Aristotle, Grusendorf reminded that the fate of empires depends on the education of our youth.

“In my opinion, there’s nothing more important that we do in state government than educate our kids,” Grusendorf said. “What society is going to look like in the next several decades is what happens in the classrooms today.”

Read more at Watchdog Arena.

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