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Voucher Bill Faces Uphill Battle As Time Runs Out, House Opposition Remains Steadfast

In a stunning turn of events, the Texas House of Representatives delivered a resounding blow to a highly contested proposal that aimed to introduce a voucher-like system into the state’s education landscape.

On very short notice and with no formal hearing, House Public Education Committee Chairman Brad Buckley tried to schedule a vote on Wednesday on a committee substitute for Senate Bill 8, an 80-page proposal that would give families at least $7,500 in education savings accounts to spend on private school tuition.

However, Buckley’s last-minute attempt to convene a meeting faced an unexpected roadblock in the Texas House of Representatives. The chamber cast a decisive vote, with a final tally of 76 against and 65 in favor. This resolute opposition from lawmakers demonstrated the steadfast resistance to the proposed measure.

The failed vote is also a warning shot for Gov. Greg Abbott and his beloved voucher plan. This is the second blow to voucher-like legislation on the House floor, including the recent failure of the Herrero amendment; it’s clear that the ground beneath vouchers is becoming increasingly treacherous.

The failed attempt to vote on SB8 has prompted the House Public Education Committee to schedule a last-minute public hearing on Monday. However, concerns arise as only invited testimony will be allowed, limiting public input. With the end of the session approaching, time is running out to address this contentious issue.

Last night, Rep. Ernest Bailes led a powerful revolt against the lack of transparency surrounding SB8, saying Texas school kids “are better than backroom shady dealings.” Even though the House stopped the vote, the bill progressed and the decision to restrict Monday’s hearing to invited testimony only intensifies the controversy surrounding the unorthodox legislative process.

Several opponents of vouchers are criticizing the hearing on social media, urging constituents to call Buckley’s office to take action against vouchers, since they won’t have the opportunity to do it in the public hearing – “#SayNOtoVouchers.”

Jovanka Palacios
Jovanka Palacios
Jovanka Palacios, a Mexican-American Politics Reporter and Managing Editor at RA's Gun Violence Watch, unveils the Capitol's inner workings. Focused on Public Education and Gun Policies, she passionately advocates for informed dialogue, delivering concise, impactful insights into the intricate political landscape.


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