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Dewhurst prepares to ditch public education

This tells you all you need to know about his priorities.

Sad Dewhurst is sad

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is poised to announce Senate leadership changes today that could have a profound effect on Texas education policy — including giving fuel to a push for school choice.

Dewhurst plans to name Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, as chairman of the Senate Education Committee, according to the lieutenant governor’s office.

Patrick, who will replace retiring Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, already has said he would push a voucher program that parents could use to send their children to alternatives to public schools.

“To me, school choice is the photo ID bill of this session,” Patrick said in August. “Our base has wanted us to pass photo voter ID for years, and we did it. They’ve been wanting us to pass school choice for years. This is the year to do it, in my view. That issue will do more to impact the future of Texas and the quality of education than anything else we could do.”

Note Patrick’s words here. This isn’t about what the best policy is, it’s about what the small portion of the Republican base that drives their primaries wants. Dewhurst, who as Robert Miller notes would like to win the primary challenge he’ll face in 2014, can’t afford to care about what anyone other than those voters think. Note that there is no possible outcome of the 2012 elections that will change this. Obama could carry Texas, Democrats could win every election they have a candidate in, none of it will matter. It’s about feeding the beast. Are we looking forward to the next legislative session yet? See this later version of the Chron story for more.

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  1. […] Kuff, Dewhurst prepares to ditch public education. This isn’t about what the best policy is, it’s about what the small portion of the Republican […]

  2. Linkmeister says:

    Are there no parents in Texas who think this is terrible?

  3. Linkmeister – There are plenty, including on the Republican side. We’re all going to have to make a lot of noise next year.

  4. Ross says:

    This is not as big an issue in HISD, where it’s not too hard to transfer to a decent school. However, for kids who are stuck in crap schools in crap districts, vouchers would be a lifesaver for parents who want a decent education for their kids, but can’t afford private school on their own. Throwing money at those districts is a waste, because many of the problems with schools are tied to parents who don’t care at all how much their kids learn. And, if you are one of the few parents in a school who care, no amount of involvement is going to help much.

    Would progressives be horrified if parents could get vouchers to go to another district?