Despite having been repeatedly rebuffed in the Texas House, school choice could have one more chance to pass the Texas House before lawmakers are called back for a special session on the issue.
School choice is a priority of the Republican party of Texas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Gov. Greg Abbott (who has toured the state throughout the year to promote increased parental choice in education).
The issue has had trouble in the Texas House, however, where lawmakers have repeatedly voted against the issue.
Earlier this year, the Senate passed Senate Bill 8 by State Sen. Brandon Creighton (R–Conroe), which funds individual educational savings accounts for families at $8,000 per student annually. That legislation was killed in the Texas House over the weekend, when the House Public Education Committee refused to pass it.
Abbott has warned that failure to pass meaningful school choice legislation would necessitate special sessions, 30-day increments of legislative overtime that can be called by the governor on any issues he chooses.
With just one week left until the end of the regular legislative session, the Senate is giving the House one more chance to avoid a special session and pass school choice.
Creighton, who chairs the Senates Education Committee, has rewritten the bill in order to insert a school choice program.
The proposal would offer $8,000 per student and be open to the majority of Texas students—though those in schools with a C rating or below would receive priority.
After a brief committee hearing on Monday morning, the legislation was passed on a party-line vote of 9-3, with the committee’s Democrats voting against it.
Should the legislation be passed by the Senate and sent to the House, it faces an uphill climb as King—the House author—is a staunch and vocal opponent of school choice.