March 15, 2023
Dear Texas State Legislators,
Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), which fights to enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, is proud to support Senate Bill 8, a bill put forth by Senator Brandon Creighton, which would enable families to meet their childrens’ educational needs. On behalf of IWV, I strongly urge you to support this proposed legislation.
Senate Bill 8 will help many parents and their children access more educational options. The bill creates an education savings account (ESA) program which will offer access to $8,000 annually per student as well as more flexibility in the use of the funds. K-12 ESAs are accounts funded with the per-pupil funding allocated to the child that parents use to pay for expenses such as eligible tuition, tutoring, textbooks, and educational therapies. Many states recognize that ESAs are a successful education-freedom model and, as a result, have expanded eligibility and created new programs.
This bill also recognizes that parents, not school systems or activist teachers, are ultimately responsible for their children and supports “the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children.” Importantly, schools are required to disclose their curriculum and are prohibited from teaching lessons that are “not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate.” Under the bill, schools must also keep parents apprised of any changes to their child’s mental, emotional, or physical health.
Now is the time to leap boldly ahead so that every child in Texas has the chance to succeed. It is likely that powerful teachers’ unions and educational bureaucracies—which reject transparency and accountability while demanding more funding—will oppose this bill; we implore you to stand strong.
Thank you, Senator Creighton, for your leadership on this important issue. For the sake of students in Texas and across the nation, we urge all legislators to put students’ success ahead of systems and advance policies that allow a wide variety of education options to flourish.
Education Freedom Center