By Willie


Words Matter

As Governor Abbott and the Republican Party continue to fight for school vouchers, I want to take a moment to comment on the messaging they are using.  More importantly, I would like you to consider using alternative language when discussing this issue.

Republicans frame the debate by using the term “school choice”.  They use this benign term to distract and soften the blow of what their harmful policy actually is and what it actually does.  We see this all the time.

Most students will not have enhanced “choice” using vouchers or education savings accounts.

Most Texas students will not be able to afford a private school even if they have a voucher.

Those are the facts.

In addition, private schools’ admission policies allow them to exclude students. Many rural students also do not have access to private institutions in their communities.

There is no real “choice”.

Sadly, I have noticed newspapers and television stations continually repeating this term, and this  perpetuates a false framing of the debate.

When we, as Democrats, discuss the issue, we need to use language that reflects the reality of the proposal.

Instead of using the term \\\”vouchers\\\”, we can refer to them as “private school coupons” or “private education subsidies”.  That\\\’s what they are.

Let\\\’s focus the conversation on the fact that Abbott is working to “defund public education”. This language more accurately reflects what is actually occurring and also reframes the debate.

Willie Tenorio, Jr. – HCTD Chair

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