Greg Abbott's special legislative session ends with no action on school vouchers

Observers expect Abbott to call an unprecedented fourth special session Tuesday afternoon.

click to enlarge Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at an event earlier this year touting school vouchers. - Instagram / GovAbbott
Instagram / GovAbbott
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at an event earlier this year touting school vouchers.
Lawmakers again balked at passing Gov. Greg Abbott's prized school voucher bill, allowing the third consecutive special session of the Texas Legislature called by the governor to end Tuesday without progress on the controversial measure.

Abbott claimed last Tuesday that he'd struck a last-minute deal with House Speaker Dade Phelan — a fellow Republican — to see the bill to the finish line. However, nothing ever came out of the lower chamber, and it adjourned until just after 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Texas Tribune.

Although there’s no indication that rural Republican lawmakers and anti-voucher Democrats have changed their minds on the opposition to vouchers, Phelan told the Tribune he expects Abbott to call another special session sometime Tuesday afternoon.

The move would be unprecedented, since never in the Legislature’s 176-year-long history have lawmakers met for more than three special sessions during the same year as a regular session, according to the Texas Tribune.

Even so, opponents appear unwilling to budge on passing vouchers, which would use public education funds to help Texans send their kids to private schools. Rural Republicans argue their constituents would see no benefit due to a lack of private and charter schools in the areas they serve. At the same time, Democrats warn that vouchers will essentially defund public education.

These rebukes were made even more apparent during this past session after a bill that would have allocated $8,000 in public funding to families who enroll their children in private schools made it out of the Senate but died in the House.

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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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