/getmedia/f484e01a-c575-43a6-989e-d4ec6280844c/TX-State-Capitol-Extension-1200x800.jpg?width=1200&height=800&ext=.jpg /getmedia/f484e01a-c575-43a6-989e-d4ec6280844c/TX-State-Capitol-Extension-1200x800.jpg?width=1200&height=800&ext=.jpg

Allison attempts to bring up teacher pay raises; Legislature adjourns sine die

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 12/05/2023 | Author: Tricia Cave

The Texas House adjourned sine die Tuesday, ending the fourth called special session, but not without a bit of drama before adjourning. 

After a week of continually increasing chatter in and out of the Capitol about pulling Senate Bill (SB) 2 up for a vote, Rep. Steve Allison (R–San Antonio), one of the 21 Republicans who voted for the Raney amendment, went to the back mic and made a parliamentary inquiry, asking Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont) if it would be possible to make a motion to bypass the committee process and take up and consider SB 2 and SB 6 on the House floor, a motion spelled out in the House rules. Phelan told Allison he would not be recognized to make that motion and then adjourned the House sine die without taking up the pending Senate bills. The Senate adjourned sine die shortly after. 

SB 2 by Senate Education Chairman Brandon Creighton (R–Conroe) would have provided $6 billion in funding for school finance, teacher pay, and school safety without attaching a voucher to the funding. SB 6 by Sen. Bryan Hughes (R–Mineola) was filed late last week in response to a lawsuit challenging the results of the November 2023 constitutional election. The bill was meant to address concerns that legal challenges to the election results could delay implementation of important new laws approved by voters, including property tax cuts and cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retired teachers. The bill would have required an expedited timeline for any election challenges involving constitutional amendments.  

In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) railed against Phelan’s lack of action on the two bills, pointing out the House did have time to pass them before adjourning and placing blame for the failure of school funding and teacher pay raises squarely on Phelan’s shoulders. He called the Speaker’s leadership “an absolute failure for the people of Texas” and stated that members of the House should be questioned about their continued support of Phelan in the upcoming primaries. Per Patrick, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) does not plan to call the Legislature back for another special session, something Abbott had previously stated he would do if the voucher bill were to fail.  

Now that the fourth called session is over, many expect the focus to shift to the upcoming March primaries, with the candidate filing deadline less than a week away. However, questions now loom as to how long the voter-approved tax cuts and retiree COLAs will be tied up in the courts, though the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) has stated that once the election is certified, it can ensure back payments are made. Although the Legislature did not pass Abbott’s pet voucher program, it also did not pass any increases in school funding, including funding for teacher pay raises or funding to help with the costs of implementing the regular session’s school safety bill, HB 3 by Rep. Dustin Burrows (R–Lubbock). This means that educators will likely have to wait until the 89th Legislature for any raises or increased school funding—and makes it vital that Texas educators show up in force in the March primaries.  



Ricky Davis

How can they look at themselves in the mirror knowing how bad they are hurting the youth in Texas by not paying good teacher amount they need to support their families. it effecting 325,00 teaches and I hope you feel great about another Teacher shortage because not paying people to help meet inflation means they will find something else to make sure there families are okay. I feel Texas know longer wants public school to do the violence, and the cost of operation easier to pond it off to a private origination. Why cant yawl do the right thing when we have the money in the teacher foundation its crazy that Texans suffering it makes feel is that what Texas Government wants is to hurt people not help.If that not true why did teachers did not get a raise to match inflation everyone else did?

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