Head of Ed: More school choice won't mean exodus

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Associated Press

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 5:32 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The state's top education official says expanding "school choice" in Texas likely won't trigger a mass exodus of students leaving public schools for private ones.

Education Commissioner Michael Williams spent decades as a proponent for charter schools and giving students additional options beyond traditional, public classrooms.

Since taking his current post last year, though, Williams says he's neutral.

Still, several bills in the Texas Legislature would expand school choice. Williams said Monday that similar laws passed in other states didn't see students abandon public schools in droves.

He told the state Senate Nominations Committee that even if Texas approves such a plan, he will still be responsible for overseeing "nearly 5 million kids."

But that's potentially tens of thousands less than the number of students currently enrolled in public schools.

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