Representatives of 42 East Texas school districts gather to protest vouchers

The roundup was held at the Nacogdoches Courthouse Annex and was put together by Cushing ISD Superintendent Dr. Brandon Enos.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 2:27 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2023 at 6:25 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - As state lawmakers took the floor to discuss HB 1, superintendents and board members from 42 school districts met to discuss a joint resolution against school vouchers.

Cushing ISD Superintendent Dr. Brandon Enos, who brought them together, said just because they’re independent school districts doesn’t mean they’re insignificant.

“It was important for us to consolidate our efforts. Most the people in this room have been heard by going to the senate committee hearings, and the house committee hearings. They’ve heard from us, so going there and sitting in the gallery today wasn’t something that I was even interested in at all,” said Enos.

HB 1 would give $10,500 annually to parents for private school, and $1,000 for homeschooling. The bill also includes a one-time $4,000 bonus for educators, but some feel it’s not a fair deal.

“The problem with that is within 18 months to two years, we’re going to see the kids again because something didn’t work out. So, we’re trying to prevent that proactively before we get to kids coming back in and being further behind,” said John Martin, Hallsville ISD Superintendent.

State Representative Travis Clardy called into the roundup of educators to give an update from the house floor.

“Y’all may not have seen it, but we have filed an amendment, there’s 17 of us, I think there are others that will vote to strip the ESA’s or the vouchers out of HB 1,” said Clardy.

At the end of the meeting Enos called for each district to take the resolution back to their communities and spread the word before November 30.

“We’re going to send it off to every legislator in Texas, we’re going to send it to the Texas Education Agency, and we’re also going to send it to the Governor’s office that way they understand how we adamantly stand against vouch,” said Enos.

Enos said he hopes that more school districts will join in the joint resolution after seeing the amount of support that came out of today’s meeting.