Mineral Wells Area News

Opinion:School Choice Exists

Opinion:School Choice Exists
November 01
07:17 2023

Guest Column: School Choice Exists

By Linda Porter-Bradford

Special to Mineral Wells Area News

On March 2, 1836, while a brave group of Texans hunkered down in a small chapel in the town of San Antonio De Bexar, withstanding a siege from a large, professional army, another group converged on Washington-on-the-Brazos and signed a defining document in Texas’ history, the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Amidst the grievances laid against Mexico, the delegates declared, “It has failed to establish any public system of education, although possessed of almost boundless resources.”

Linda Porter-Bradford, longtime resident of Mineral Wells and a child advocate for kids across the county, pens column regarding school vouchers

Texans have been clear on their expectations of the government from the dawn of this Republic. Since 1836, Texans have demanded free public schools. Hopefully, legislators carry the spirit of the Alamo Defenders and the resolve of the Delegates at the Convention of 1836 in the effort to protect public education and school choice in Texas.

After serving over 42 years as a child advocate and public-school employee, I feel vested in the welfare of our children. In education, as teacher, principal and superintendent, I had many opportunities to observe our educational system through a variety of lenses.

Our rural area school districts are the heartbeatof the community. From being a county’s top employer, to Friday night lights, schools serve as the anchor of small towns. The State has worked hard to provide rural public-schoolstudents with the same opportunities as urban students. We have seen the results: outstanding, well-rounded students.

From our FFA groups, athletes, to the future leaders in STEM, our students give us hope for the future of this state. They are hard-working, brilliant, and have patriotism for their state and country. Even greater, our public-school students have faith, as seen in the numerous prayer circles witnessed at sporting events and “See You at the Pole” gatherings.

Texas is also home to many high-performing private schools. Statewide our private schools each share a goal to prepare students for college and careers, while also providing them with a Biblical foundation to living life. In our county, I have been a part of our local public, private and homeschool educational entities working together to meet the needs and ensure the success of each student they serve.

It is clear that Texas already has school choice. Parents can send their children to public schools, private schools, charter schools, or homeschool their children. Our Great State should find ways to protect the prosperous system of education and school choice that we already have, not threaten its stability with trojan horse voucher programs.

We need to enhance our public schools, not divert their funds. We need to defend private schools’ ability to self-regulate, not burden them with government restrictions (which will ultimately follow any state-funding). We need to let parents who choose to homeschool teach how they see fit, not trap them in a box of limitations.

Some political operatives loathe public school teachers, democratically elected school board members, and any legislator who stands up for the constitutional right to free schools. They may be preaching “school-choice” now, but do not be fooled, they do not really desire true school-choice. If they get their way, we can say goodbye to parental rights, school choice, and quality education in Texas.


​The Legislature has a constitutional duty to support and maintain public schools. It is of the utmost importance to defend the school choice system which Texas already enjoys. We owe it to our young citizens to do so; they are the future guardians of our Republic. 


Linda Porter-Bradford

Mineral Wells, TX

Proud Parent and Grandparent

Former Teacher:  Mineral Wells ISD

Former Counselor, Principal and Superintendent:  Perrin Whitt CISD

Former Adjunct Instructor:  Weatherford Jr. College

Retired Assistant Superintendent:  HR, Curriculum & Instruction, Federal Programs:  Mineral Wells ISD

Former Executive Director for the Children’s Alliance Center for Palo Pinto County

Mineral Wells/Palo Pinto County Business Woman

Lifelong Advocate for Child Welfare


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