A California family has joined the thousands of residents fleeing the Golden State for Texas, saying they love the ‘freedom’ and better schooling of the southern state.
Chuck and Jennifer Balek, who have six children, have celebrated the move to the Lone Star state after moving to Rockwall, Texas, from Camarillo, California, in 2021.
Citing skyrocketing housing costs, living expenses, school curriculum battles and frustration over COVID restrictions pushed the family away from the blue state.
California is also experiencing high levels of crime, with total crimes climbing to over 1 million last year alone, while Texas recorded recorded a figure just less.
Speaking to Fox News , Chuck said: ‘I no longer consider myself a Californian. I’m a Texan. We moved here to find a better life, and we found it.
Chuck and Jennifer Balek, who have six children, have celebrated the move to the Lone Star state
The couple moved their family to Rockwall, Texas, from Camarillo, California, in 2021 and haven’t looked back
He continued: ‘We didn’t want to move to a blue state, I’ll tell you that much. It just didn’t make sense.
‘That’s why we left California was the overreach from the government, as well as the schools.
‘The agenda being pushed in California schools did not fall in line with how we want to raise our children. The schools should not be pushing an agenda behind our backs.
‘Since we’ve been here we have literally watched our kids all thrive with the school systems.
‘We have some financial freedom. Our kids have been absolutely thriving. We’re happy. We made the right choice.’
The family had been referring to gender policies and critical race theory being pushed in schools in the state, which has sparked fury with some parents.
Last month, the Attorney General sued a school district in California for a policy that required parents to be informed if their kid was transgender, causing outrage.
His wife Jennifer said: ‘We moved our big Balek bunch out here for less expense, more freedom and better schooling. I think it’s already changed [our lives] for the better.’
According to Jennifer, the cost of living was around 20 percent less than in Texas, which has allowed them to grow their savings.
The family said that ideologies being pushed in school and rising costs had contributed to their decision to move
Food and transportation costs in Texas are below the national average, while California is among the most expensive places to live in the country.
The average cost of gas in California is currently around $5.78 per gallon, while Texas was priced at $3.39 per gallon.
Chuck also told Fox that he would be looking to buy land in the state, something that was only for the ‘mega rich’ in California.
California has a progressive tax system that relies heavily on rich people and high personal income tax rates, has seen an exodus of people.
The state has saw a population decline since the Covid-19 pandemic, with an estimated 500,00 people leaving between April 2020 and July 2022.
In May, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state’s budget deficit had grown to nearly $32 billion.
This was around $10 billion more than he anticipated in January when he initially offered the budget proposal, with a reason being the lower-than-expected tax revenue.
It comes after a new poll released last month from a consortium of California nonprofits that said more than 40 percent of Californians are considering leaving.
Some cited the states liberal politics and the high cost of living was also another major factor for many, according to the poll.
The study, which surveyed 800 California residents, quizzed people on a variety of issues, including crime in their area, health care, cost of living, and safety.
The findings were telling over the state’s decline in recent years, with a majority of respondents saying they are far more concerned about their lives than last year.
Those considering fleeing the West Coast state would join numerous high-profile former residents in seeking a new home.
In 2020, podcaster Joe Rogan left the state and moved his family to Texas, selling off his lavish $3.5 million estate for the move.
UFC color commentator, comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan left California for Texas with his family
Musk gestures as he attends the Viva Technology in Paris, France, June 16, 2023
The mansion came with a private MMA gym, a sun soaked pool, and enough amenities to fill the expansive 2 acre plot.
He announced his desire to leave on his Spotify podcast ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’, telling his huge audience he wanted to leave for ‘a little more freedom’.
In 2021, Rogan was joined by billionaire Elon Musk in leaving California, which came as part of a surprising vow to sell nearly all his possessions.
His last remaining mansion in the area, a Bay Area property listed for $37.5 million, hit the market in June 2021.