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Education

Map: The Cost of Private Schools Under Two Different Voucher Bills

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Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

This week, the Texas Senate Education committee started to tackle multiple bills that would create school voucher programs. The proposals are strongly supported by conservative lawmakers, especially Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

One bill filed by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) would create a grant giving parents 60 percent of the annual cost for maintenance and operations per student, or about $5,200, through the proposed Taxpayer Savings Grant. Another bill would give 75 percent of that annual per-student funding to parents, or just over $6,500 though the so-called Education Tuition Grant.

If one of them passes, what does that mean for families who might want to utilize the program?

Map: Click on the markers below to find out how much Austin area private schools would cost with the voucher discounts proposed by both SB296 and SB4.

Conservative lawmakers say the voucher program would help poor families get their children out of under-performing schools. But opponents say the program will take much needed funding out of the public school system, making it even harder to educate the children who remain in public schools.

Even if the Senate passes a voucher bill, it’s hard to say if it would make it out of the House. This week, House lawmakers said they want to put more money into public schools and last legislative session the House filed an amendment saying it would not support vouchers, even though there was no voucher bill in front of them.