A dozen House Republicans sign amendment to kill Texas school voucher proposal

Assuming enough Democrats also support the amendment, it would strip vouchers from the massive education bill now up for a vote.

click to enlarge H.B. 1 would, among other things, allocate $10,500 to 40,000 Texas students annually who opt out of public school and enroll in private institutions. - Shutterstock / CrackerClips Stock Media
Shutterstock / CrackerClips Stock Media
H.B. 1 would, among other things, allocate $10,500 to 40,000 Texas students annually who opt out of public school and enroll in private institutions.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s school voucher plan appears to have fizzled out — once again.

Enough Republicans in the Texas House signed onto amendment Friday to remove vouchers from House Bill 1, a massive education bill that faces a critical vote, according to the Texas Tribune.

At least a dozen Republicans signed the amendment, the news outlet reports. If all 65 Democrats in the chamber also sign on, just 10 GOP votes would be needed to adopt it, thus killing off vouchers one more time.

Among other things, the $7 billion bill HB 1 would create so-called “education savings accounts” for 40,000 Texas students. With priority given to low-income families and children with disabilities, accepted students would receive $10,500 annually in taxpayer money to pay for private school tuition or $1,000 per year to cover costs associated with homeschooling.

With vouchers stripped from HB 1, lawmakers still would be voting on school safety legislation, raises for teachers and other proposals included in the package. 

After  being repeatedly stymied in the House, Abbott earlier this month threatened to primary Republicans who vote against vouchers then announced unprecedented fourth special session to force a vote on the matter.

However, the Republican voter's plan continues to face opposition from Democrats as well as GOP House members from rural districts, who argue vouchers would financially damage already meagerly funded public schools.

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Michael Karlis

Michael Karlis is a Staff Writer at the San Antonio Current. He is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., whose work has been featured in Salon, Alternet, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Orlando Weekly, NewsBreak, 420 Magazine and Mexico Travel Today. He reports primarily on breaking news, politics...

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