Texas Legislature may consider school voucher law - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Texas Legislature may consider school voucher law

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Football fields are home to tradition, legacy and some lessons that can't be taught inside a classroom.

A YouTube video, released by the "Progress Texas" group, claims "our Friday night lights {may} Go out" because of lawmakers, like Senator Dan Patrick of Houston, the newly appointed Chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

Vouchers for public school students could help pay to send them to a private or charter school, with state funding.

"I think I would support school vouchers. I think competition's a good thing," said Chris Freeman, the parent of two teens in public high school.

Dan Fry, a Westwood High School parent, said, "I've had kids that have been in both, public school and private school. In general, I would support the idea of school vouchers."

"The playing field would become unlevel and would lead to special interest.... I just think it would be overall negative," said John Meux, the father of two public school children.

"We have over 8,000 campuses and nearly 540 are rated unacceptable and those unacceptable schools, primarily in the inner cities, teach over 300,000 students... that is the position that should not be acceptable," said Senator Dan Patrick. "The prospects are not very good, of you getting a quality education, if your zip code locks you into a poor performing school."

In response to other claims in the Youtube video he added, "If this is the best they have, it's pretty sad, because they just made this up. They haven't even seen the bill because it's not written, they have no idea what we're really going to propose."

When asked to clarify his plan, Senator Patrick didn't have much to say.

"When the time is right, we will lay that out before session and when we do people are free to make suggestions, people are free to criticize it," He concluded.

It's a political topic and not all parents agree they'd support the plan if it negatively impacted programs like band and football.

Fry said, "If they would choose to use the voucher program, even if would affect after school programs, I think it should be their choice."

"Not in general, no," said Meux.

"I think it remains to be seen, if it would negatively affect it or not. I think competition, whether it's for academics or sports, is always going to be positive," added Freeman.

Patrick said, "When someone goes so far as to say we shouldn't give students a chance for a better education because it might end Friday night football, first of all, it won't have any impact on extracurricular activities period, and secondly, to make that argument is just ridiculous."

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