The Texas legislature is in a special session called by Governor Abbott to enact a universal school choice law. We’re getting close to a blockbuster breakthrough that would benefit more than three million Texas kids. The hold-up is a voting bloc of rural Republican legislators still putting up a wall of resistance arguing this will hurt their local schools.
This is contradicted by two facts. One is that Texas rural schools need school choice because those school districts are underperforming. The chart below shows that on three of four metrics on math and reading these Texas schools lag far behind the national average:
Second, an analysis by the Heritage Foundation of what happened to Arizona rural schools after school choice was enacted found big gains in learning for Arizona’s rural students compared with the nation as a whole, and Texas rural areas. Arizona went up while Texas school performance and Texas scores fell for reading and math.
If facts matter in this debate, then Abbott and kids should score a big victory in the Lone Star State.