Opinion: Empowering parents across Texas with ‘school choice’ is what a good neighbor does

By Eddie Lucio Jr.

Former Texas state senator

March 17, 2023

When I entered politics in 1970, my dad said to me, “Son, people don’t care how much you know. They want to know how much you care.”

That’s a phrase that stuck with me throughout my 48 years of work in the political arena. It’s not about how much we know — it’s about how much we care for our neighbors, each and every Texan that we live with in this great state.

And part of caring for our neighbor is knowing what our neighbor wants and, more importantly, what our neighbor needs. Today our neighbors, the parents of the millions of Texas children, are calling out to us for help. Simply put, our school system does not meet the needs of every child — whether it’s academically, socially or spiritually, many of our neighbors are finding that their children are not getting everything they need from their public schools.

Throughout my political life, when confronted by hard questions, difficult questions, I looked to the greatest constant — my faith. I looked deep within myself and answered God’s call to do what was right, no matter what the political consequences would be.

Many of us have one vision for our children’s education in Texas, a vision that Gov. Abbott recently laid out: to make our children’s education in Texas the best in the country. To ensure that the children of Texas grow up strong, healthy and educated. To guarantee that they grow up in the foundation of the morals that made this state and this country great, so that they can continue in that path and grow strong as men and women of faith — faith in our nation, faith in our ideals, faith in our heritage. We’re extremely fortunate to have the best lieutenant governor in the country, Dan Patrick, who has fought for this vision for years and will play a major role in this issue this year.

The best road to this education, an education that loves every student and leaves no child behind, is to empower parents to make the best choice they can for their children’s education.

Make no mistake, this is not an easy path — the journey will test us. That is understandable. The pressure on lawmakers from special interest groups will be immense, so it is up to us to support them and encourage them. We must show them that we care, and we must help them to care for our children.

We’re all in this together, and together, we can do this. We can live up to the vision of a great education and the ideals of this nation. We can be good neighbors to every parent in the state and empower them to make the best choices they can for the education of their children.

Eddie Lucio Jr., of Brownsville, is a former Texas state senator representing District 27.

See original piece in Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

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