*UPDATE: Moments after TFN posted this entry on Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville, filed a massive private school voucher proposal, which goes by the Orwellian title of “taxpayer savings grants.” The bill number is HB 33 in the newly reordered nomenclature of the special legislative session, but it is not a new idea. It is the same voucher scheme that Miller and host of conservative groups tried to sneak into the budget in the closing days of the regular session.
The Texas Legislature began a special session this morning, the day after the regular session ended without the passage of several key pieces of legislation. That failed legislation included several bills involving public education. Gov. Rick Perry has asked the Legislature to focus on measures that will “allow school districts to operate more efficiently,” which means this special session could be critical to the future of public education in Texas. In addition to imposing billions of dollars in budget cuts on public schools, the far right could use the special session to advance a number of its long-standing goals – establishing a private school voucher scheme in Texas and expanding the State Board of Education’s authority over curriculum and textbooks. We saw attempts to do both during the regular legislative session.
It’s critical that supporters of public education stay engaged during this special session. You can help the Texas Freedom Network support strong public schools in three ways:
- If you haven’t done so already, sign up for TFN’s Strengthen Public Schools Rapid Response Team. TFN will give team members the information and tools they need to take action on legislation during the special session.
- Stay informed by subscribing to TFN News Clips and reading our blog.
- Donate to the Texas Freedom Network and help fund our important work in support of strong public schools, religious freedom and individual liberties.
We will have a more detailed legislative wrap up on all of TFN’s issues in the coming days.