Texas AFT: Bills to Watch: Vouchers arrive at the House Public Education Committee on Tuesday

Goff Justice announces a $20 million expansion of nursing education programs

The Texas Legislature has another eventful week ahead of it. Many bills will be considered in committee and discussed on the floor.

Home General Education Committee: Two sessions in one week

For the first time in this session, the House Public Education Committee will meet twice in one week. Both days will include bills of great importance. Both hearings will begin at 8 a.m. and will be held in Room E2.036 of the Capitol Annex.

This Tuesday (April 18), the committee will consider:

  • HB 1926 by Rep. Lacey Hull (R-Houston) would remove the expiration date of the temporary private education voucher the legislature approved in the last session, making the program permanent.

This Thursday (April 20), the committee will consider:

  • HB1572 by Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston) would increase funding for charter schools by removing utility funding limits. Charter schools actually have several funding advantages over traditional public schools. Removing these limits would cost an additional $240 million annually, which would otherwise have gone to the public schools.

The Senate and the House of Representatives consider ancillary bills on the floor

In addition to the committee’s work next week, a few subsequent bills will likely be considered in the legislative process on the floor of the House and Senate.

Next week, the House of Representatives will likely consider the following:

  • HB100 By Ken King (R-Canada) The comprehensive school funding bill.

Next week, the full Senate is likely to consider:

  • SB17 By Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) would prevent any government funding from going to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs. These offices seek to promote diversity of race and ethnicity, diversity in sexual orientation, diversity in gender identity, and diversity in the overall experience, including targeted recruitment of veterans, for example. Any faculty member found to be promoting DEI will be fired, and the university will be penalized financially. SB 17 also targets the joint governance of universities. The bill limits faculty votes on search committees for new university presidents or other CEOs.
  • SB18 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) would prohibit institutions of higher education from offering a job to any newly appointed faculty. Tenure protects academic freedom in teaching and research. The designation also provides professors with economic security, making a career in higher education a more attractive career option.

Governor Dan Patrick has stated that he intends to pass both SB 17 and SB 18 next week. to oppose those laws, Send a message to your Senator and Representative Demanding the defense of higher education in Texas.