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Advocate: Vouchers Could Save Texas $2B Per Year

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    A scholarship program will help Hartford public high school students pay for higher education.

    A school vouchers advocate says Texas' public education system could save up to $2 billion annually if the state allows families to use public funding on private schooling.

    Joseph Bast is president of the conservative think tank the Heartland Institute. He testified Tuesday at the school finance trial.

    Bast believes approximately 6 percent of Texas public school students would move into private schools if a tax grant program offering vouchers were available.

    He said the state saves $7,750 when a student leaves the system.

    But Bast also said no Texas government entity agreed with his cost-saving analysis. Officials instead estimate letting students leave public schools would actually cost those schools money in the short term.

    Bast also acknowledged he holds no degrees in economics, though he considers himself an economist.