Gary VanDeaver is a conservative member of the House of Representatives in Texas. On most of the hot-button social issues, he is a hardline conservative.

But Representative VanDeaver of New Boston, Texas, opposes vouchers.

He is well informed and he is looking out for the best interests of his constituents. What the story does not mention is that Rep. VanDeaver, before he ran for office, was a teacher, a principal, and superintendent of schools in his home town, New Boston. He understands what it means to offer “school choice” in a small rural community.

“When it comes to one centerpiece conservative initiative – allowing tax-subsidized vouchers for students to enroll in private schools – VanDeaver says absolutely no way.

“In my district, public school is the community,” said VanDeaver, of New Boston, a town about 25 miles from the Arkansas border where the Lions high school football stadium has 3,500 seats, nearly enough for every resident.

“If we do anything to pull those students away, then we’re harming those communities,” said VanDeaver, 58, after joining an overwhelming majority of the GOP-dominated state House this month to reject school vouchers…”

Rural Republicans have helped to sink vouchers in every legislative session, despite the support they get from the Governor, Greg Abbott, and the Lt. Governor, Dan Patrick.

The combination of rural Republicans and urban Democrats has blocked vouchers again and again. They get passed in the state Senate, and they never come to a vote in the House.

That, plus the vigorous activity of Pastors for Texas Children, has prevented the voucher movement from succeeding in Texas.