After Big Win, School-Choice Advocates Set Sights on Other Red States


Following significant victories in Texas, school-choice proponents are now shifting their focus to expanding similar initiatives in other Republican-controlled states. Texas Governor Greg Abbott's relentless campaign efforts have paid off, setting a new precedent for school-choice legislation across the nation.

In recent Texas primary elections, six anti-voucher Republican incumbents were ousted in favor of candidates supporting school-choice policies, with another four forced into runoffs. This marked a decisive shift in favor of Abbott’s agenda, which prioritizes education savings accounts and vouchers allowing parents to use public funds for private schooling.

Abbott, backed by influential conservative figures and organizations like former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the American Federation for Children (AFC), invested millions in supporting pro-voucher candidates. The strategic push was aimed at overcoming the resistance from a coalition of rural Republicans and Democrats that had previously thwarted such measures.

The recent election outcomes suggest that Texas now has the necessary legislative support to pass comprehensive school-choice laws. Abbott’s victories are seen as part of a broader "Red State Strategy," championed by advocates like Corey DeAngelis, which focuses on leveraging Republican majorities in state legislatures to advance school-choice policies.

School-choice supporters argue that these policies enhance parental rights and provide families with greater educational options. However, critics, including many public education advocates, contend that vouchers siphon funds away from public schools and primarily benefit wealthier families already attending private institutions.

Despite the momentum in Texas, significant challenges remain. The pro-voucher movement continues to face staunch opposition from Democrats and some rural Republicans, who fear the impact on public education funding. Moreover, the bitter primary battles have highlighted deep divisions within the Texas GOP, exacerbated by aggressive campaign tactics and substantial financial backing from out-of-state donors.

As Texas sets the stage for potentially transformative changes in education policy, school-choice advocates are eyeing similar legislative battles in other GOP-dominated states.

The recent successes in Texas serve as a blueprint for mobilizing support and overcoming opposition, promising a fierce national debate over the future of educational funding and parental choice.


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