An Early Win on Vouchers in Marathon House Budget Debate

A big thank-you is in order for those of you who have written and called your Texas House members in opposition to private-school vouchers, because today your efforts paid off. Early in the House floor debate on the 2018-2019 state budget bill, a bipartisan anti-voucher amendment was adopted by a vote of 103 to 44.

Authors of the amendment were Reps. Abel Herrero (D-Corpus Christi) and Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston). Their amendment bluntly said:  “Money appropriated by this Act may not be used to pay for or support a school voucher, education savings account, or tax credit scholarship or a similar program through which a child may use state money for nonpublic primary or secondary education.”

At this writing, a couple of pro-voucher amendments have yet to be brought up for a vote. But an attempt by Rep. Briscoe Cain (R-Houston) to insert a pro-voucher proposal as an exception to the Herrero/VanDeaver anti-voucher amendment was soundly defeated, by a vote of 117 to 27.

You can expect more reporting on key budget votes in upcoming Hotlines.