Texas is late to the school choice party

The Texas GOP says it'll make school choice a priority. New chairman Allen West says he supports the “School Choice Now Act,” recently introduced by a pair of U.S. Senators.

Cato education expert Neal McCluskey says debates over when schools should reopen make clear the need for school choice.

"People, based on their unique, individual circumstances, and the concentration of the illness, will make decisions for themselves."

McCluskey says the pandemic highlights the need for competition.

"More people will say 'I don't understand why I have to pay taxes for education and it can only go to the public schools.'"

But Texas is not a leader when it comes to school choice; lots of attempts have been made to bring it about but so far they've failed.

"Texas is kind of a laggard when it comes to school choice; many states, 29 states have vouchers, offer tax credits and education savings accounts -- which have been pushed in Texas but have never gotten over the hump where they're enacted."

Chairman West says parents shouldn't be forced to accept school decisions with which they disagree and they shouldn't be forced to send their children to chronically poor performing schools.

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