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Local educators sound off on Gov. Abbott's victory over lawmakers against school vouchers

Abbott wins on school vouchers
Posted at 6:03 PM, Mar 06, 2024

CENTRAL TEXAS — Many opponents of school vouchers are unhappy after the latest Super Tuesday elections.

25 News spoke to some educators after Gov. Abbott was able to succeed in persuading voters to vote against lawmakers who voted against school vouchers.

Hillary Hickland beat out incumbent State Representative Hugh Shine.

This comes after Gov. Abbott traveled to Temple last November to persuade voters to vote for Hickland, all because Hugh Shine voted against the governor’s school choice bill.

Abbott had victories like this across the state.

Gov. Abbott even made a statement following the elections that reads:

“Republican primary voters have once again sent an unmistakable message that parents deserve the freedom to choose the best education pathway for their child.”

80 percent of voters voted in favor of Prop 11 on school choice.

Temple ISD Superintendent Dr. Bobby Ott opposes school vouchers.

“I will always take a position on funding schools because it takes care of the masses and I will always be against anything that has an adverse position to public schools," Ott said.

With Hillary Hickland representing his district in Austin, he says he’ll continue that stance, but will also work with Hickland.

"I’ve always had excellent relationships with representatives whether we agree or disagree on policy," Ott said.

Friends of Texas Public Schools, an organization that supports public school teachers, showed discourse that the governor would use his political power to get his way. 

“It is disheartening. We lost a good conservative only because they disagreed on that one issue," said Executive Director of Friends of Texas Public Schools, Leigh Anne Pearson.

They believe school vouchers will help the rich, and that they are handouts for those with kids already in private schools.

FOTPS also believes school vouchers would further segregate the Texas public school system.

“If vouchers go through, it would be an elite takeover of our school system by billionaires who want to privatize education," Pearson said.

"It would drastically de-fund public education and the consequences would be devastating — it would lead to a desegregation in public classes."