October 31, 2023
Whereas the right to free public education is enshrined in the Texas Constitution and is a key element in the Texas Democratic Party Platform, and whereas the State Democratic Executive Committee passed a resolution on August 26 affirming its opposition to school vouchers, any Democratic lawmaker who votes in favor of Abbott’s ploy to send kickbacks to his donors to the detriment of our public schools will face political repercussions.
Whether you’re rural or urban; white, black, or brown; newcomer or 5th generation, all Texas families want their children to receive a quality education. However, Gov Abbott is seeking to defund our public schools so that he can give kickbacks to his donors. Instead of keeping public money for public schools, he wants to send our public dollars to private academies.
Worst of all, certain Democratic lawmakers are contemplating supporting his ploy to give kickbacks to those who can already afford to spend tens of thousands or more per year to send their children to private academies. They say this is to increase their leverage, build political favors, or “so Democrats have a say in the process.”
The best thing for you to say to Abbott can be summed up in one word: No.
"No deals, no matter what. No deals for a one-time funding increase. No deals for a chairmanship. No deals for a school funding bill that gives Republicans a path to caving on vouchers," said Clayton Tucker, SDEC Member and President of the Texas Progressive Caucus.
The Texas Progressive Caucus commits to do the following for any Democratic lawmaker who votes, or even negotiates, to defund our public schools, including but not limited to:
- Ban or otherwise prevent the lawmaker(s) from holding an official position or speaking role at future Texas Democratic State Conventions.
- Blacklist or otherwise prevent the lawmaker(s) from becoming a delegate to future Democratic National Conventions.
- Publish a “Benedict Arnold List” for registered Texas Democratic delegates and precinct chairs in the lawmaker’s district.
- Build a coalition of organizations to ensure a primary challenge is found and financed.
While we recognize there are certain policies on which reasonable people can disagree, the fundamental and constitutional right to public education for all Texas children is too important to allow any politicians to take away from Texas children just so that they can send kickbacks to their donors.
Given that Texas already trails the national average by over $4,000 per student and ranks 42nd in the nation in per-student spending, no Democratic lawmakers should even attempt to negotiate on vouchers.
School vouchers are merely a redistribution of wealth to Abbott’s donors from Texas families. They must not pass.
The Texas Progressive Caucus works to build and strengthen the Texas Democratic Party. We support Democratic Precinct Chairs, County Chairs, Club Leaders, State Democratic Executive Committee Members, and Democratic National Committee Members. We work in a coalition with many other organizations in Texas, including our sister organization, the Texas Legislative Progressive Caucus.