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Senator Burton Explains Her Vote on HB 4 Concerning Pre-K Education

I voted against HB 4 because the bill is predicated on the public policy that 3 and 4 year olds are better served in the care of the State rather than with their families at home.  I fundamentally disagree with this principle.  I am also concerned with the Family Engagement Plan established in Section 5 of the bill. This section requires school districts to work with agencies and organizations to engage families from birth to 5 years old in order to maintain ‘positive family attitudes toward education.’  This amounts to state intrusion into the private spheres of family life and the parent-child relationship. Past attempts at governmental social engineering have had disastrous effects on the American family.

Additionally, I voted against HB 4 because it establishes an entitlement grant program that will place an increasingly heavier financial burden on Texas taxpayers and decrease the State’s ability to adequately fund public education. As an entitlement program, it will be politically very difficult to repeal, even if the program proves to be ineffective and wasteful.   Because HB 4 only applies to specific categories of Texans, it will surely be deemed an unfair system that will be the basis of future calls for the program’s expansion.