A Texas House Select Committee on Educational Opportunity and Enrichment has advanced a school voucher bill last Friday. It is a wide-ranging education bill that includes a voucher-like program known as education savings accounts that allows parents to use taxpayer dollars to subsidize private schooling costs.
The legislation now goes to the House Calendars Committee, which is responsible for routing bills to the floor for debate and voting by the full chamber. Governor Abbott has said if the “voucher” component is removed on the House floor, he will veto the bill if it reaches his desk and call another special session.
HB 1 also would set aside $10,500 every year per student for private school expenses, possibly diverting funding away from public education. The bill’s other provisions include a bump in per-student spending by the state, from $6,160 to $6,700. It also would increase teacher pay.
The Senate also has a bill (SB 2) that addresses public school funding. The Senate has already passed its own voucher legislation (SB 1) that would create an education savings account program that would dole out $8,000 per student.
Please act now.
Contact your legislators now and ask them to:
- Oppose all voucher legislation.
- Support funding for public schools.
Even if you have already contacted your state legislators, please contact them again and let them know you are monitoring how they vote. Remember to request legislators vote no to any voucher legislation by any name (i.e., education saving accounts, etc.), as funding for public schools is more important.