WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — “All of Texas students will be doing better with a robust school choice program in the state of Texas,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said.
It’s a top priority for Abbott: A ‘school choice’ program allowing parents to use tax-payer funds to send their kids to private or charter schools.
Wichita Christian School Superintendent Kent Lemons said he’d be happy if parents received money but doesn’t want to impede on public schools.
“We play a role and we want our role to fit the people that want us,” Lemons said. “We want the role they play to fit them and the people that they serve.”
As for Wichita Falls Independent School District schools and other surrounding public schools, vouchers are being offered for parents to encourage that choice.
“We have vouchers now,” Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Dr. Donny Lee said. “We have vouchers in the form that can go from Wichita Falls ISD and go to Burkburnett ISD. They can go to Graham. They can go to City View, and that money goes with them. That $6,160 per student follows that kid to that school.”
In a statement, Texas Senator Drew Springer says:
“As a member of the Senate Education Committee, we will carefully assess the merits and drawbacks of various school choice initiative to ensure a balanced approach.”
Despite the active adjustments, Lee said he is strongly against the ‘school choice’ proposal.
“The rules are not the same,” Lee said. “Now, they don’t test like we test. They don’t have to accept behavior problems, special education issues, none of that. The teachers don’t have to be certified. And so when we’re not playing by the same rules, it’s hard to give public funds to private entities.”
According to Lemons, however, the goal is to maintain a small-time feel with big-time advancements.
“Our role is to provide a small school with an actual school setting in the classroom,” Lemons said. “Like going to a rural school, but you’re still in the city. And so that’s that’s kind of what we do. And also, you know, we use the Christ. We use Christ in our in our lessons.”
Abbot has said he will call legislators back until something is passed and Springer agrees, stating action will take ‘however long it takes.’