Expansion of Full-Time, Online Schooling Benefits Operators, Not Kids

HB 895 by Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) would remove a longstanding cap on the expansion of full-time “virtual” schools. The bill, which is up for a hearing in the House Public Education Committee Tuesday, would deliver big benefits to private, for-profit operators, but it offers little or no educational benefit for Texas schoolchildren. There is […]

Hot Topics: Hearings on Education, Labor, Revenue

Hot Topics:  Hearings on Education, Labor, Revenue Texas AFT’s government-relations team will be working overtime next week as state lawmakers convene in Austin for a spate of hearings on education, labor, and revenue topics. The legislative hearings will overlap with a week-long series of State Board of Education meetings in the capital city as well. […]

Session Recap, Continued—Ten Bad Bills That Bit the Dust

Our legislative recap continues today with a list of ten bad bills that bit the dust in the session ending just last Monday. There were far more than ten in this category of bad bills that failed, but these were among the most noteworthy: SB 1968 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) would have taken away […]

Virtual Vouchers and Charter Facilities Funding Grab Stuck in Senate?

This session’s “virtual voucher” bill, SB 894 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), has yet to come up for a vote in the Texas Senate. The bill would provide taxpayer funding for privately operated online schools with minimal accountability or quality assurance. Also not voted on Tuesday was SB 1900 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), […]

No Action is Also Action: Senate Virtual-Voucher Bill Still on Calendar—Urge a No Vote

SB 894 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), the bill to provide full-time online instruction at public expense for home-schooled and private-school students–with minimal public accountability and minimal quality assurance–was on the calendar Friday but was never brought up for a vote. The bill has no House counterpart, and deadlines are looming for Senate bills to […]

Virtual Vouchers Still on the Senate Agenda

SB 894 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) is the “virtual voucher” bill that would provide big taxpayer subsidies for private purveyors of full-time, online instruction with minimal public accountability—and minimal quality assurance. The bill would make home-schooled children and students in private schools eligible for state-funded, full-time enrollment in a “virtual school.” SB 894 remains […]

Votes on Virtual Vouchers (Senate) and Home-Rule Hijacking (House) Could Occur Wednesday

On Wednesday, May 13, the Texas Senate may vote on a bill to funnel taxpayer dollars to private purveyors of full-time online instruction. SB 894 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) would make home-schooled children and students in private schools eligible for full-time online instruction at state expense. SB 894 removes limits on the number of […]

Two More Bad Bills Come Through the Senate, and Another Is Waiting in the Wings

Two more major pieces of legislation dismantling safeguards of educational quality and fostering the takeover of public education by private operators were passed in the state Senate Monday. SB 1241 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) would enable and encouraging school districts to opt out of compliance with important Education Code safeguards of educational quality such […]

Waiting in the Wings, Another Version of Vouchers—Read All About It

The Texas Senate Education Committee this week approved another version of private-school voucher legislation, SB 894, for consideration by the full Senate. This version, by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), would funnel tax dollars to the private purveyors of online instruction. In anticipation of an attempt sometime soon to push this bill through the Senate, the […]