Texas Senate to Debate Virtual School Voucher Bill
05.12.2015 — The Texas Senate could debate SB 894 this week.
SB 894 makes significant changes to the virtual school network that would have the same effect as vouchers. The committee substitute shifts public money to private vendors who are not limited in the amount they can charge for providing an electronic course. The bill also allows students who are not enrolled in public schools to take online classes. As written, the bill may lead to the creation of private virtual schools that lack public accountability.
The cost of the bill is significant. According to the fiscal note, the “total additional cost to the FSP would be $62.7 million in fiscal year 2016 and $63.8 million in fiscal year 2017, increasing to $67.1 million in fiscal year 2020.”
The State of Texas should not divert funds away from public schools to protect the interests of private vendors.