/CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/TXlege/Capitol-USFlag.png?ext=.png /CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/TXlege/Capitol-USFlag.png?ext=.png

Senate Education Committee hears voucher aimed at school employee misconduct

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

School Finance Texas Legislature Privatization | Vouchers Deregulation | Charter Schools Testing | Accountability

Date Posted: 4/20/2023 | Author: Mark Wiggins

The Senate Education Committee met Wednesday, April 19, 2023, to consider several bills, including a voucher tied to school employee misconduct.

Senate Bill (SB) 1557 by Sen. Tan Parker (R–Flower Mound) would require the state to pay to send a student to private school if an employee of the school district in which the student is enrolled is convicted of or placed on deferred adjudication community supervision for an offense committed against the student or is reported to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) for misconduct.

ATPE opposed the bill because requiring the state to spend public taxpayer dollars on private school tuition constitutes a voucher. Opposition to vouchers is part of ATPE’s 2022-23 Legislative Program and one of our priorities for the 2023 legislative session.

The bill would not fully cover the cost of private school in many cases. ATPE pointed out that the bill would also allow an eligible student to be transferred to a different public school campus or school district, both of which would be acceptable alternatives and would incur no additional out-of-pocket costs for the family.

ATPE supported a pair of bills designed to make school district bond elections more transparent. SB 2117 by Chairman Brandon Creighton (R–Conroe) would amend required ballot language from stating "This is a property tax increase" to "This authorizes the district to take on additional debt." SB 2205 by Parker would amend required ballot language to apply only if the district determines the bond issuance would require an interest & sinking (I&S) tax increase for the following tax year.

The committee also heard SB 2304 by Sen. Morgan LaMantia (D–South Padre Island), which would require school districts to provide information regarding the Texas Driving with Disability Program. SB 1506 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola) would add specificity to what is required for inclusion in a seizure management and treatment plan. ATPE supported both bills based on our legislative program position on safe schools.

View the rest of Wednesday’s committee agenda here.

The committee voted to advance several bills, including the following:

  • SB 1474 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R–Houston), which ATPE opposes because it includes a special education voucher. The committee passed the bill on a party line vote, with 9 Republicans supporting and 3 Democrats opposing.
  • SB 472 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola), which would require a political subdivision to treat a charter school as a school district for all regulatory purposes, excluding eminent domain. ATPE opposed this bill because it would inappropriately treat charters the same as districts despite the lack of similar transparency and oversight. The bill passed on a vote of 10-2, with Sen. Jose Menendez (D–San Antonio) and Sen. Royce West (D–Dallas) opposing.
  • SB 789 by Sen. Nathan Johnson (D–Dallas), which would add an accountability indicator for students who successfully complete a Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program. ATPE supports this bill.
  • SB 1261 by Sen. Angela Paxton (R–McKinney), which is the HB 4545 cleanup bill. ATPE supports this bill.


Thank you for submitting your comment.
Oops, an unexpected error occurred! Please refresh the page and try again.