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ATPE Statement on Special Education Funding Commission’s Legislative Recommendations

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 12/16/2022

ATPE Executive Director Shannon Holmes offers the following statement in response to the legislative recommendations adopted Dec. 16 by the Texas Commission on Special Education Funding:

“ATPE has always opposed any program or initiative, tuition tax credit, or voucher system that would direct public funds to private, home, or for-profit virtual schools.

“We have a particular concern about vouchers in a special education setting. Not only would such a scheme move taxpayer money to an unregulated environment, but also it would encourage removing students with special needs from the public education system, where they are legally guaranteed a free and appropriate public education, not one subject to a provider’s whims, and where their rights and needs are protected by federal law.

“This recommendation is gravely concerning, and we will fight any voucher proposal during the 88th legislative session.”

The commission voted 4-3 to recommend that the Legislature consider “Education Savings Accounts” (aka vouchers) during its upcoming session. As the author of the legislation creating the commission, outgoing Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Kingwood) strongly opposed the inclusion of the ESA voucher recommendation in the final report. ATPE appreciates Rep. Huberty, Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D-Clint), and Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo) for their votes against the recommendation.

About the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE)
Founded in 1980, ATPE is the leading educators’ association in Texas with approximately 90,000 members statewide. With its strong collaborative philosophy, ATPE speaks for classroom teachers, administrators, and future, retired, and para-educators and works to create better opportunities for Texas’ five million public school students. | atpe.org