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Not just vouchers, corporate-sponsored vouchers

You can’t make this stuff up.

Speaking in a Catholic school classroom in Austin, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick gave the first details of what they promised would be a wide-ranging set of proposals for public education policy during the upcoming legislative session.

Patrick, a Houston Republican who chairs the Senate Education Committee, said he would carry legislation that would increase the options for public school students through lifting the state’s cap on charter schools, fostering open enrollment within and across school districts, and creating a private school scholarship fund through offering a state business tax savings credit to corporations. When asked for further information about how such a scholarship program would operate, Patrick said the plan was still in its formative stages, and earlier, Dewhurst indicated that it may begin through a smaller-scale pilot program.

Because we just don’t offer enough tax breaks for businesses in this state. When I read about that ludicrous proposal to let teachers be voluntary cops, I thought it was the pinnacle of Republican philosophy in this state. I may have to reconsider that now.

Though the set of reforms the two men described at the news conference did not contain a plan for what are often called private school vouchers, which allow parents to use public funding to send their children to private schools, Patrick said afterward that the legislation was still evolving. He indicated that it could include a measure that would be along the lines of “what some people might call vouchers.”

Take your time, Danno. After all the thought that must have gone into this proposal, I’m sure you need to catch your breath. To his credit, Speaker Joe Straus is skeptical of this plan, but I wouldn’t count anything out. The Texas Freedom Network has more.

UPDATE: Here’s the Chron story, and here’s a press release from the Coalition for Public Schools, which as you might imagine is critical of the proposal.

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