It's not often an elected official gets to proclaim legislative initiatives dead on arrival, but this is exactly what has happened to school choice legislation, aka the voucher bill.

Texas House of Representatives Public Education Chairman Dan Huberty (R-Houston)  said that even a bill pushed by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick was doomed. Now that's a gutsy move: Patrick is seen as beholden to religious conservatives in his party, and religious conservatives are seen as the ones who favor the voucher legislation most. Why? Because it essentially sets them up in the private education business. Their organizations, ostensibly church parishes, will now be set to receive state dollars. You know where this goes.

In my history in municipal politics, vouchers were often seen as an effective alternative under normal circumstances. That is, you have a crumbling school system and children in desperate need of a hand up to get out of the less-than-ideal situation they're in. Do you want these kids to get an education?  Sure you do, but their options are limited  other than the less-than-acceptable school to which they're living closest. In that instance, I'm all for vouchers and charter schools, or anything else that'll help.

Yet, Texas has greater freedom than most because of the ISD's.  The independent school districts give more power on a local level to parents.  I see the voucher initiative as a ploy to get those big dollars and build an unproven yet profitable school system around it.

No doubt school board officials, administrators and teachers in ISD's across the state are happy with this development.

More From KLTD-FM