AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued this statement today following the Texas Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 1, Empowering Parental Rights – Education Savings Accounts (ESA) for Texas Students by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe:
“Texas is blessed with a robust public school system of over 8,000 campuses. Many of our schools are great, most are good, but unfortunately, some of our schools do not meet the needs of our students and some are rated as failing districts in our state. A one-size-fits-all approach to education leaves many of our students behind, and parents deserve options other than just their local public school.
“Texans across the political spectrum agree that families must have choice in education to ensure their student has the best chance of success. Thirty-one states, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C., offer education savings accounts for their students, and Texas students should not be left behind.
“The Texas Senate has passed school choice bills in 2015, 2017, and 2023. Sadly, each time, the bill died in the Texas House. During the regular session this year, the bill never received a floor vote in the Texas House. Let me be abundantly clear: the Texas Senate will pass this bill over and over again until the Texas House passes it and sends it to Gov. Abbott’s desk.”
SB 1, by Sen. Brandon Creighton, provides eligible students an $8,000 ESA per year. Students would be eligible to apply for an ESA and use the funds for tuition or fees for a private school, purchase of textbooks, instructional materials, or uniforms, costs for academic assessments, and fees for private tutoring or transportation. The program will be administered by the Comptroller’s office.