School Choice and School Finance Task Force

Objective: After a contentious legislative session on the topic of school choice and school finance, the School Choice Task Force should convene to coordinate efforts for a renewed school choice effort in 2019. Interested groups and lawmakers should consider the school choice and school finance options available, agree on an approach, and pursue it with clarity and focus.

Topics: Education savings accounts, tax-credit scholarships, students with special needs, addressing the common arguments against school choice, advancing the best arguments for school choice, eliminating recapture, rewriting the school finance formulas.

Overview: The Task Force will focus on supporting a specific school choice plan during the 85th Interim, and begin building a coalition of support between lawmakers, students, parents, and interest groups heading into the 86th Legislative Session. That coalition will then set out an extensive plan to ensure the best chance of passing a school choice bill and a real school finance reform bill in Texas:

Forms of School Choice – Already familiar to many, the Task Force will briefly review the various approaches to school choice, study what has been implemented in different jurisdictions, what has been the most effective, and what the best option is for the Texas.

School Finance – Several options exist for reforming school finance. The Task Force will explore these options and choose a plan for the coalition to coalesce behind.

Coalition Building – Once a plan is agreed upon, the Task Force should aggressively seek the support of lawmakers, interest groups, parents, students, and anyone who supports educational freedom and school finance reform.

Coalition Plan – Beginning with a press conference to launch efforts leading up to the 86th Legislative Session, key members of the coalition should coordinate press releases, opeds, events, release of educational materials, and efforts within the Legislature. Legislator members of the coalition should all be co-authors on the coalition’s supported bill. Non-coalition members should also be urged to support the bill as co-authors, and to help move the bill through committee to the floor of both chambers for a vote. Coordinated coalition efforts should continue through the Legislative Session.