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Educational Opportunity Advances in Texas Senate

For Immediate Release
July 22, 2017

Media Contact: Brian Faughnan, 703-678-4581 or Wadi Gaitan, 202-853-4463 

Educational Opportunity Advances in Texas Senate

(AUSTIN, TX) – Today, The LIBRE Initiative praised the advancement of school choice by the Senate Education Committee. The current proposal would give families more educational opportunities through a tax credit scholarship program for students with special needs. Any school choice measure must still be considered by the entire Senate and House in order to secure more choice for Texans during the ongoing special legislative session.

Jorge A. Lima, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:

“Latino families across Texas overwhelmingly agree education is a top issue – and the majority of students participating in special education programs in the state today are Hispanic. These families know that having access to a quality education that meets their unique needs is crucial to a student’s future success. This is why proposals like the tax credit scholarship are needed to steer Texas in the right direction toward building greater educational opportunities for students across the state. When you empower families with more options, our community is better equipped to reach the American Dream. The Senate Education Committee has done its part to advance the debate and we encourage the entire legislature – specifically the House –  to take up and support measures to expand more educational opportunity during this special session.”

Senate Bill 2 establishes a tax credit scholarship program in which insurance companies can contribute funds to non-profit education assistance organizations that provide financial assistance to students with special needs while receiving a tax credit for the funds contributed. Students with special needs will be able to use these scholarships for educations costs such as extra tutoring, specialized therapy, and tuition at accredited private schools.

This program will be largely limited to students who are eligible to participate in a school district’s special education program, are protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),or those who fall under section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. Any scholarship money awarded to a qualifying student would be spent at an accredited private school or for therapy at their assigned public school and would be subject to strict auditing by the state comptroller’s office.

For interviews with a representative from The LIBRE Initiative, please contact Brian Faughnan, 202-805-1581 or Wadi Gaitan, 202-853-4463