Compromise is the grease that makes our democracy work, but every time SB 1455 reveals a new “compromise” it gets worse for families.
Texas has long been in need of reform that increases educational options for families, but the most recent attempt – SB 1455 – is regression, not reform.
Unfortunately, the bill recently passed the Senate and is headed to the House. Parents across Texas will speak up in opposition of this regressive bill and fight for real reform in Texas.
Some of the unacceptable parts of this bill:
-A floor amendment in the Senate re-instituted the prohibition on K-2nd virtual education, meaning kids struggling in traditional schools will have to wait until 3rd grade before accessing this crucial educational option.
-Initially the bill took aim at removing the moratorium on new virtual schools, but substituted a new cap on enrollment that would eventually reduce enrollment increases to 2% each year. The clear result of this policy – which has no basis in good public policy – would be a growing wait list as families in need of virtual education are forced to wait to access their preferred educational option.
Texas Parent Shea Mackin, a national PSO board member and the chair of the Texas Coalition, had this to say on the bill: “Virtual education is an option important to all parents at every grade level. The lack of a virtual option for my 2nd grade child is one of the reasons I walk the halls of the Capitol every week as an advocate for public school options. SB 1455 continues the inexplicable prohibition on K-2nd virtual education and only allows a slow trickle of new students into virtual schools, when only 0.3% of all public school children attend virtual schools today. This bill is not reform, but regression. It will set the cause back and therefore I oppose it.”