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Chairman Buckley Schedules Hasty SB 8 Vote for Public Ed Committee

On very short notice and with no formal hearing, House Public Education Committee Chairman Brad Buckley has reportedly scheduled a vote Wednesday on voucher-enabling legislation, a committee substitute for Senate Bill 8. The voucher portion of the legislation starts on page 50. 

As of this writing, there is not even a House Public Education Committee meeting set for Wednesday. This is an extremely unorthodox approach to moving legislation through the Legislature, to say the least. There appear to be billions of dollars in sweeteners added in order to gain the necessary votes to move it out of committee and to lubricate its passage in the House.

The voucher program appears to be an Educational Savings Account (ESA) for special education students who are “economically disadvantaged,” or students who attend a “D” or below school. 

The short-circuiting of normal House procedures creates an unsavory image of a back-room deal making and sets up a situation ripe for a point of order in the House. 

The Quorum Report said the committee substitute “appears to be a mashup of various voucher proposals that have been floated so far. ‘It’s worse than the way it came out of the Senate,” said one longtime public school advocate.'”

This is a developing story.

Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson
Writer, editor, photographer and editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson has joined the Reform Austin newsroom, where he will employ the artistic skill and political insights that earned a Pulitzer Prize to drive coverage of Texas government. As managing editor, Anderson is responsible for guiding Reform Austin’s efforts to give readers the unfiltered facts they need to hold Texas leaders accountable. Anderson’s original cartoons will be a regular feature on RA News. “Reform Austin readers understand the consequences of electing politicians who use ideological agendas to divide us, when they should be doing the hard work necessary to make our state government work for everyone,” Anderson said. “As a veteran journalist, I’m excited about Reform Austin’s potential to re-focus conversations on the issues that matter to common-sense Texans – like protecting our neighborhoods from increasingly common disasters, healthcare, just to name a few.” Anderson worked for the Houston Chronicle, the largest newspaper in Texas, from 2006 until 2017. In addition to the Pulitzer, Anderson earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award. He’s also a two-time winner of Columbia College’s Fischetti Award, and the National Press Foundation’s Berryman Award. Anderson’s cartoons have been published in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and other papers. In 2005, Anderson won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning while working for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. The judges complimented his “unusual graphic style that produced extraordinarily thoughtful and powerful messages.”


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