HB 12 would not apply the same accountability procedures for voucher-funded private schools that the legislature applies to public schools. Even though the Corte proposal would require voucher students to take the TAKS test, the private school would face no consequences from the state for low student performance. In addition, private schools receiving public funds under the bill would not face TEA audits to check that the funds are used appropriately or even legally. Nor does the bill require that teachers in the participating private schools be entitled to a minimum salary or health and retirement benefits.
What they don't mention here is that most private schools in Texas provide equal or better pay for their teachers with less administrative harassment and far better working conditions that public schools in the same area, which is why the best teachers go to private schools instead of public schools. At the planned voucher value of $6000 and with the minimal administrative overhead of private schools (no bloated school district bureaucracy to support) teachers could be paid very well indeed.
Representative Corte and other voucher advocates claim that students ought to be given the ability to escape "failing public schools." However, his record indicates that he has voted against efforts to strengthen public schools. For example, in 1997, he voted against a constitutional provision to guarantee equitable education funding for all children statewide.
A horrific bill which would have taken away local school board autonomy, massively increased bureaucratic overhead and reduced the funding and quality of education in many school districts, creating equality by lowering overall standards.
- In 1995, he also opposed class-size limits in elementary schools and supported a proposal to hire uncertified and untrained teachers.
This bill actually passed and is about the best thing ever to come out of the Texas State Legislature. For the first time it allows people who actually have degrees in academic fields to teach those fields in public schools without requiring them to have extensive class time in completely useless education courses. Prior to the passage of this bill retired distinguished professors from major universities who wanted to teach advanced classes in high schools would have to take almost a year of 'education' courses to learn to write lesson plans and fill out paperwork just to get into a classroom. Prior to this bill a professor of pediatrics would not have been considered qualified to teach 7th graders health and hygeine classes and a Supreme Court Justice would have been unacceptable as a teacher of basic civics.
- Teachers, superintendents, and a wide range of organizations that support public schools remain steadfastly united in opposition to private-school vouchers. Public opposition to siphoning taxpayer dollars out of the public schools for private-school vouchers also remains strong.
By this they mean that vouchers are opposed by teachers unions, parasitic school district administrators and legislators they have bought off. The truth is that providing a $6000 voucher per student would actually increase the funding per student who remained in the public schools because the actual revenue from taxes and other sources which schools receive per student is more than $6000, so the leftover would stay with the school to be used for other students or perhaps to fatten up the high six-figure salaries of district superintendents.