Special-Ed Vouchers to Get a Hearing; Community Schools Would Gain State Backing under Key Bill

Special-ed Vouchers to Get a Hearing in House Committee:  Despite the big House majority vote (103 to 44) against any form of voucher funding in SB 1, the budget bill, the House Public Education Committee will give a hearing to two voucher bills on Thursday, April 27.

Both bills are by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) and both are focused on special-education students. HB 1335 would create “education savings account” vouchers; HB 4193 would create “credit account” vouchers. Either bill would transfer scarce public funds to unaccountable private educational service providers.  Stay tuned, and we’ll soon have action you can take to help stop these bad bills.

Community Schools Would Gain State Backing under Key Bill: An important House bill would give state recognition to community schools as a proven model for turning around struggling campuses. Community schools rely on parent-teacher-community teamwork to address students’ in-school and out-of-school needs.  The bill is HB 3861 by Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) and Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston). HB 3861 will get a hearing Thursday in the same House Public Education Committee hearing where the voucher bills will come up. Texas AFT will be there in strong support of this community-school approach to school improvement. You can put your support behind community schools by sending your letter on this topic from our legislative-action site online.