Education Savings Accounts for Texas
When it comes to innovation and economic productivity, Texas typically ranks among the top ten states in the country—or not far behind. It leads in 10-year economic growth and productivity, as well as domestic migration, particularly among young adults and families. Texas is also one of the most innovative states in terms of high tech and related fields, and several of its cities are nationally ranked for their diversified industries and occupations.
But the dominance of Texas in the competitive economic sector stands in stark contrast to its distinctively un-competitive K–12 education sector, which is essentially dominated by one type of provider: public district schools. In contrast, Florida, which also enjoys a vibrant business climate, has a far more inviting educational climate, one that encourages new providers through a variety of educational choice programs beyond the public system, including education savings accounts (ESAs).6
Since business experts agree that the Sunshine State is giving the Lone Star State a run for its money in their rivalry to be the best place in which to do business, Texas policymakers may wish to reconsider the state’s lack of educational choice. Indeed, Texas belongs to the ever-shrinking minority of states without a single private school scholarship choice program
ESAs have tremendous potential to improve on the existing supply of education providers and services. Moreover, because ESAs customize options based on individual students, the supply-side of education could become as robust and diversified as the students.