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Texas Gov. Abbott pushes school choice, criticizes border policy in inaugural address

Abbott was sworn in for the third time on Tuesday, after defeating Representative Beto O’Rourke in November

January 17, 2023 9:17pm

Updated: January 18, 2023 7:31pm

Texas Governor Greg Abbott promised to give parents more school choice and criticized the Biden administration’s border policy during his third inaugural address on Tuesday.

Abbott was sworn in for the third time on Tuesday, after defeating Representative Beto O’Rourke in November. The governor used his inaugural speech outside the state Capitol in Austin to push issues that he promised to address during his campaign. 

Regarding school choice, Abbot said Texas was a place of “freedom and opportunity” without the “high taxes, red tape, burdensome regulations” that are seen in Democratic-led states. 

Abbott said he planned to offer a voucher system for schools because parents deserve the freedom to choose the education that’s best for their child.” However, he offered no details of what the voucher system would look like. 

The governor added that schools are meant for “education, not indoctrination,” suggesting that many schools have been pushing “social agendas” in recent years. 

“We must reform curriculum to get kids back to learning the basics and empower parents with the tools to challenge that curriculum when it falls short of expectations,” Abbott said.

The governor also criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border amid a record-breaking influx of undocumented migrants. 

“With the Biden administration missing in action, Texas is using every tool to protect our state,” Abbott said. “We are building a wall, deploying Texas National Guard soldiers and Department of Public Safety troopers to enforce the law, and targeting the Mexican drug cartels who traffic, people, weapons, and drugs into our state.”

In 2021, Abbott launched Operation Lone Star in an attempt to secure the border after there was an unprecedented spike in undocumented immigration. Since then, state troopers and National Guard troops have been deployed to the border to prevent human and drug smuggling across the border.