Former US Senator Phil Gramm gave a passionate speech about School Choice to the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) policy conference on Friday.
Gramm believes that the current education system has created a “permanent underclass of citizens” and that Republican legislators have “failed the children of Texas”.
Keep in mind that 84% of Texas Republicans voted for school choice in 2012. Specifically, this was the language on the ballot that year:
“SCHOOL CHOICE: The state should fund education by allowing dollars to follow the child instead of the bureaucracy, through a program which allows parents the freedom to choose their child’s school, public or private, while also saving significant taxpayer dollars. Yes or No.”
Still, we’ve seen no action on an issue supported by an overwhelming majority of Republican primary voters in Texas.
Echoing a term famously coined by President Dwight Eisenhower, Senator Gramm described the obstacle that education reformers regularly bump up against as the “education-industrial complex”.
Senator Gramm is calling on the legislature to a vote on full-blown school choice, and it’s looking like that vote just might happen. If the fights we’ve seen in other states are any indication of what’s to come, we can anticipate that the education-industrial complex will fight parent choice tooth-and-nail.