AUSTIN, Texas - Fellow Texans gathered together at the steps of the Capitol Saturday afternoon with a message to Gov. Greg Abbott.
With a special session on taxpayer funded vouchers called for on Monday, Oct. 9, public educator advocates want voters to vote no on private school vouchers.
"The question right now shouldn’t be about private school vouchers. There should be better quality of education and better financial support of the public education system," said Zarqa Fatima, Navarro ECHS student.
In a statement, Gov. Greg Abbott said in part: "Together, we will chart a brighter future for all Texas children by empowering parents to choose the best education option for their child."
But during Saturday's rally, advocates said they believe vouchers will harm the community.
"Every organization structure public school in Texas have their own set of complications, however if I could go back and start all over again, I would still choose to enroll in public education," said Fatima.
Leander ISD superintendent Bruce Gearing spoke at the rally. He said vouchers take away accountability.
"In Leander ISD, we are fully transparent, unlike private schools," he said. "We are governed by locally elected board trustees who make decisions in meetings that are open to the public."
- This Week in Texas Politics: Gov. Abbott calls for third special session
- This Week in Texas Politics: Paxton, border and school choice
- Abbott calls for special session due to border crisis; school choice on back burner
Advocates were asked to bring boots to the rally to leave a statement: boot the vouchers and save Texas public schools.
After the rally, advocates left those boots at the gates of the Governor's mansion.
"Here we are with Access Education Round Rock ISD," said one advocate, "and we’re here to send a message to Gov. Greg Abbott saying we’re going to give the boot to vouchers, and we’re supporting our public education. Fully fund our Round Rock ISD schools."