We Stand Against Vouchers

Vouchers can be called many things.  Whether referred to as vouchers, grants, tax credit scholarships, Education Savings Accounts, virtual coupons, educational debit cards, or vouchers for special education, they all serve the same purpose and use public taxpayers’ dollars to fund private schools which are not accountable to state regulations.

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Why It Matters

Only public schools, which educate 90% of students in Texas, can effectively and efficiently meet the state’s demands for a well-prepared workforce and well-informed citizenry.

Our Impact

For nine legislative sessions, Raise Your Hand Texas has blocked voucher bills considered in the Texas House and Senate.

In the 2021 Legislative Session, the Texas House overwhelmingly (by a bipartisan vote of 115-29) rejected state funding for any form of a voucher program.

Voucher proponents have tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to advance limited voucher programs. Notably, in the 87th Regular Session, lawmakers attempted to create voucher programs tied to Covid-19 recovery and relief (HB 3, Burrows), make pilots for special education programs (SB 1716, Taylor), and tax credit scholarships (SB 1968, Bettencourt).

Raise Your Hand Texas urged lawmakers to prioritize keeping education tax dollars in public schools and investing in quality public school choice and innovative programs in Texas public schools across our state.

Our advocacy work to oppose vouchers reflects public school parents, taxpayers, voter opposition, as well as scientific research that refutes the notion that private schools and vouchers deliver better educational outcomes for students, notably:

  • According to the 2022 Charles Butt Foundation Poll, 80% of public-school parents say they would keep their oldest child in their current school even if other options were available. 
  • Research in states with established voucher programs (e.g., Indiana, Louisiana, and Ohio) shows that students enrolled in voucher programs have reduced scores on math state assessments.
  • A 2018 study by the University of Virginia found that private school enrollment provided no additional benefits to low-income children in urban settings by simply controlling for sociodemographic characteristics.

Looking Ahead

Vouchers reduce equitable access to educational opportunities, weaken rights for students with disabilities, and expose taxpayers to fraud. The Legislature should continue to reject any type of voucher.

Learn the Latest

Policy Priority: Vouchers


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