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State legislative candidates discuss education vouchers during debate (video)

By ALLISON MILES
Oct. 18, 2012 at 5:18 a.m.
Updated Oct. 19, 2012 at 5:19 a.m.

Geanie Morrison

Texas educators are opposed to issuing private school vouchers, Alex Hernandez Jr. said, and that's why he is, too. His opponent, Rep. Geanie Morrison, however, said it was too soon to decide.

The candidates for the House District 30 race met Thursday for a debate at the Victoria Advocate. The duo covered budget issues, environmental topics and a variety of educational subjects, including vouchers.

Recent discussions question whether Texas should provide vouchers to help public school students pay to attend private schools.

Hernandez said that most educators he's spoken with are anti-voucher because they think funding for such a program would take away resources allocated to other students. And, until he hears a reason to enact vouchers, he said he would side with those educators.

"Right now what I'm hearing is, 'No vouchers.' And that's statewide," he said. "We need to fund public education, put the money back in public education and have no child left behind. Make education priority one."

Morrison agreed it was most important to listen to voters, but said it was too early to take a stand on the issue.

The Texas Senate already knows who will serve as education chairman, she said, but the position is still open for the House. No one knows who will fill that role or what the legislative session's priorities will be.

"We need to see what's on the table and see what is best for the students, and also hear that input from our constituents," she said, noting parents should also join the talks. "... I'll weigh in on that after hearing those conversations."

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