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Top Republican leaders split endorsements ahead of primaries, one reason is debate about school choice

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 10:22 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Gov. Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz sit at the top of the Texas Republican party and have made big headlines this week after choosing to endorse opposing candidates in the upcoming runoff elections. An issue that brought the split was the debate about school choice. Advocates for school choice believe parents should be able to use tax money to send their kids wherever they choose.

Senator Cruz is backing District 12 candidate Ben Bias who believes school choice would modernize the public education system as education has had to shift during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Teachers are leaving in droves, our schools are in jeopardy, our children have fallen behind and we can’t afford to continue down a path where parents and teachers are left out and our children are not getting an education,” Bius said.

District 12 Rep. Kyle Kacal, who’s endorsed by Gov. Abbott, believes school choice is an attack on the economy, jobs, and the future of rural Texas.

“Public education and public schools in Texas are the backbones, they’re the heart of the community, they are what keeps rural Texas viable,” Kacal said.

A major national political action committee has also gotten involved in this debate. The School Freedom Fund has dedicated $220,000 toward advertising focused on their fight for school choice.

Kacal and Bius have also spent a lot of money on this race. They’ve collectively spent nearly $600,000 to reach voters before the March 1 election.

While Senator Cruz’s and Gov. Abbott’s split endorsement may cause confusion with voters, Bius believes voters should feel refreshed about leaders taking a stance on topics like school choice.

“I believe that we’re gonna prevail because I believe Texas wants to take back Texas, and we want to govern Texas and protect our children,” Bius said.

Kacal believes public schools have to remain a top priority.

“We have a track record, a proven track record making sure Texas has the ability to thrive, and I stand for my public schools, I stand for local and rural ways of life and I stand for Texas leading and keeping Washington, D.C. out of our business,” Kacal said.

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