Students in the K-12 public education system face unprecedented challenges. As results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)​, known as the nation’s report card, show, just 24% of Texas eighth graders are proficient in math and 23% are proficient in reading—the lowest scores in two decades. Like other states, Texas experienced a steep drop during the pandemic. However, poor academic performance is nothing new for the Lone Star State: Texas public schools, particularly those with low-income populations, have been failing students for over a decade now.

It’s past time for policy leaders to reform our education system and ensure that funding follows students, not systems. Fortunately, an education bill has been introduced this legislative session that would provide much-needed relief in the form of education savings accounts (ESAs). Under the bill, up to $8,000 in taxpayer funds would be deposited by the state into accounts for eligible families to use for education expenses such as tuition, tutoring, textbooks, and therapies.