UPDATE: This post has been updated to reflect that SB 3, originally scheduled for a committee hearing on Thursday, March 16, will be heard instead on Tuesday, March 21.
The Senate Education Committee will hear Senate Bill (SB) 3, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s priority voucher bill authored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood),
Thursday Tuesday, March 21, at 9 a.m. The bill has been referred to as a “school voucher on steroids,” because it contains not one, but two forms of vouchers.
The bill sets up two different voucher programs: An education savings account (ESA) and a tax credit scholarship. One funnels public tax dollars through parents while the other allows a private vendor to redirect taxpayer money, but the result is the same. Under both, public tax dollars are sent to private entities without public oversight, transparency, or accountability. (My colleague, ATPE Lobbyist Monty Exter, has a thorough run-down of the bill and both proposed voucher programs here.)
ATPE will oppose SB 3, as we do all efforts to privatize public education and redirect needed taxpayer dollars to private or home schools, but your voice must be heard too! ATPE members can log on to Advocacy Central to inform their legislators of their opposition to SB 3 and encourage committee members to vote against the legislation.
Visit the Senate broadcasts page to watch the hearing live on Thursday or search the archived footage for a chance to catch the hearing at a later date. All educators with free time over spring break are encouraged to attend and register their opposition to SB 3!