Every parent wants a better life for their children. It’s built into us, in our spirit, in our DNA, however you want to look at it—the drive to do better for our kids is part of us. However, many among us are not able to answer that God-given mission to provide a better life for their kids. The crushing weight of poverty condemns them and their children to a cycle—a cycle of poverty, crime, and, oftentimes, early death. It’s a fact we know all too well in Houston—the school-to-prison pipeline is very much alive, and it destroys the most vulnerable among our Black and Brown students.
We’ve tried and tried on many occasions to fix the system. There’s been one step forward, maybe two steps, but then a giant leap backwards. The change that we do get has not come quickly enough to save thousands of our children from schools with low expectations and low performance. It was for these reasons that I opened a private Christian Academy to work with the children from our community—but even running on razor-thin margins, we simply could not keep tuition down low enough to help those who needed it most.
It’s our calling to ensure that every student has the tools they need to thrive. A good education is essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people. When we’re able to look at our past and break out of the odds that are stacked against us, when we’re able to accept the sacrifice of our Savior and Lord, we can break that cycle of poverty and crime, hence break the curse. School choice can help set us free.
That’s why we need the ability to provide every single student, regardless of their skin color, regardless of where they live, regardless of their economic status, the freedom to get a better education. An education that addresses their unique needs and helps each beautiful child of God in the ways they need it most.
We need to do what is right for our children by providing their parents with the freedom to choose the best educational options that meet their unique needs. That freedom comes in the form of Education Savings Accounts—flexible accounts that families can use to break out of a system that isn’t helping them and send their children somewhere where they can get the education, they need most. Make no mistake—the system resists change. It’s doing so now, mobilizing millions of dollars to fight empowering Texans. In the 1950s, the same type teachers unions fought school choice in Virginia—because school choice threatened to break down segregation and accelerate integration.
But this isn’t just about politics or economics or even fixing the system. It’s about doing right by the least fortunate amongst us. It is my Pastoral duty to give a voice to the last, the least and the lost. This is about lifting up the people who need it most and empowering them with the tools to break out of the cycle of poverty. Empowering parents with school choice is a moral battle because whatever we do for the least of us, we do for the Lord.
So let’s set our fellow Texans free. When we empower parents with school choice, we can unleash the potential of every single kid in the state of Texas.