Gov. Abbott touts school choice at Tyler private school
Abbott: ‘I cannot stand alone and get this across the finish line.’
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Speaking at Grace Community School in Tyler, Gov. Greg Abbott urged parents to support his push for school choice.
“I cannot stand alone and get this across the finish line,” Abbott told the crowd. “I need you standing with me every step of the way to make sure we empower parents to educate our kids better than any state in America.”
Under the governor’s plan, taxpayer money would be used to cover tuition for parents who want to send their kids to private schools like Grace. These schools are a haven, the governor says, from the “woke agenda” being pushed in some public schools.
“I gotta tell you, anyone who thinks this is something that happens maybe in Dallas, in Houston would be wrong,” Abbott said.
The governor’s speech included a call to action, for parents to voice support for the legislation to State Rep. Matt Schaefer who represents the Tyler area in the Texas House of Representatives. On stage, Schafer said he had a conversation with Abbott on Wednesday about school choice.
“He wants us to work out something in Austin, Texas, that will benefit the lives of every family in Texas,” Schaefer said.
Jay Ferguson, head of school at Grace Community, not only said he supports the governor’s plan but has prayed for something like this.
“Even with the money that we raise, a lot of times it’s not enough to be able to provide everybody in East Texas, and everybody in the Tyler and Smith County area, who would like a Christian education that opportunity. And so, this would provide that,” Ferguson said.
While the governor spoke inside, protesters gathered outside to make it known they are against the legislation.
“I’m against school choice, specifically because the choice is already there for these private schools,” said Cody Grace. “You can go to private school, you can go to charter school now, but this specifically will take money away from our public schools.”
“I want them to get all the resources from my taxes and my property taxes,” said Shelia Thrash, a grandmother of six public school students. “I don’t want it to go to a school, a private school, that would not even accept them because they are part of the LGBTQ community.”
Back inside, Whitehouse ISD Superintendent Dr. Christopher Moran was among those who came to hear the governor speak. The event comes just one day after Moran spoke out against the plan, alongside other Smith County school leaders. It’s a position he maintained after hearing the governor speak.
“The position of the public schools is that any voucher or education savings account that comes out that encourages people to leave the public schools, for which the governor and TEA are responsible, is a mistake. It’s going to hurt the state as a whole. It’s going to cost the state more money, and we don’t support that,” Moran said.
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