Texas Lawmaker Tearfully Vows School Choice Fight

Friday, March 22, 2013

The head of the Senate Education Committee broke into tears Thursday as he promised to fight for dramatically expanded "school choice" in Texas.

But Sen. Dan Patrick also announced he was softening his high-profile bill to allow an unlimited number of charter schools to operate statewide, instead taking a more gradual, tiered approach to their expansion.

The tea-party backed Republican from Houston became emotional as students told his committee of dropping out of school but then returning thanks to charter schools and other facilities specializing in at-risk youth.

They were supporting a bill by San Antonio Democratic Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, who is seeking to modify how state accountability measures evaluate public schools to more accurately label facilities that specialize in helping students who had previously dropped out.

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