In a surprise move on Thursday, Texas Senators slipped a school choice program into a House bill that would have injected $1.6 billion into the public education system and advanced the bill to the full Senate, which could consider it as early as Monday.
School choice has emerged as one of the most divisive education issues this legislative session and one that critics have said is a private school voucher system that would divert much-needed dollars from public schools.
This session, the House has indicated that it opposes school choice but supports funding schools at a higher level than the Senate says the state’s tight budget can handle. In a bargaining move by the Senate to push school choice, a priority of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and an issue supported by Gov. Greg Abbott, House members who oppose school choice at least have to consider the issue now.