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School Finance Update

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UPDATE: Dan Patrick has announced that the Senate will not join the House’s requested conference committee on HB 21, the school finance bill. Without the House and Senate reaching a compromise, the bill will die.

Over the weekend, the Texas Senate added a provision to HB 21, the school finance bill, which would create state-funded Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) for children with disabilities.

All session long, there has been a debate between House and Senate over “school choice,” where the House has voted against and the Senate has voted in favor.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has been a leading voice in favor of funding a school choice program and has been supported by many conservative groups.



Some “liberty-minded” homeschooling parents with Texans for Homeschool Freedom have lobbied against Patrick’s efforts, saying they are taxpayer-funded subsidies which could open the door for government strings being attached to the money. As such they have found themselves strangely allied with moderate Republicans in the House who are beholden to public school teacher associations.

Today, the House considered the Senate’s changes to HB 21, and Rep. Dan Huberty, the bill’s author, rejected the Senate’s changes after an impassioned speech against the ESA language. The House then voted 134-15 to send the bill to a conference committee made up of Senators and House members.

They also voted 101-45 to instruct the conference committee not to consider any funding for Education Savings Accounts when they hash out a compromise.

Requesting a Conference Committee (Successful)

Yeas – Allen; Alonzo; Alvarado; Anchia; Anderson, C.; Anderson, R.; Arévalo; Ashby; Bailes; Bell; Bernal; Blanco; Bohac; Bonnen, D.; Bonnen, G.; Burkett; Burns; Burrows; Button; Canales; Capriglione; Clardy; Coleman; Collier; Cook; Cortez; Cosper; Craddick; Cyrier; Dale; Darby; Davis, S.; Davis, Y.; Dean; Deshotel; Dukes; Dutton; Elkins; Faircloth; Fallon; Farrar; Flynn; Frank; Frullo; Geren; Gervin-Hawkins; Giddings; Goldman; Gonzales; González; Gooden; Guerra; Guillen; Gutierrez; Hefner; Hernandez; Herrero; Hinojosa; Holland; Howard; Huberty; Hunter; Israel; Johnson, E.; Johnson, J.; Kacal; King, K.; King, P.; King, T.; Koop; Kuempel; Lambert; Landgraf; Larson; Laubenberg; Leach; Longoria; Lozano; Lucio; Martinez; Metcalf; Meyer; Miller; Minjarez; Moody; Morrison; Muñoz; Murphy; Murr; Neave; Nevárez; Oliveira; Oliverson; Ortega; Paddie; Parker; Paul; Perez; Phelan; Phillips; Pickett; Price; Raney; Raymond; Reynolds; Roberts; Rodriguez, E.; Rodriguez, J.; Romero; Rose; Sanford; Schubert; Sheffield; Shine; Simmons; Smithee; Springer; Stephenson; Stucky; Thierry; Thompson, E.; Thompson, S.; Turner; Uresti; VanDeaver; Villalba; Vo; Walle; White; Wilson; Workman; Wray; Wu; Zerwas

Nays – Biedermann; Cain; Isaac; Keough; Klick; Krause; Lang; Rinaldi; Schaefer; Schofield; Shaheen; Stickland; Swanson; Tinderholt; Zedler

Present, not voting – Mr. Speaker(C)

Instructing the committee not to consider ESA funding (Successful)

Yeas – Allen; Alonzo; Alvarado; Anchia; Arévalo; Ashby; Bailes; Bell; Bernal; Blanco; Bonnen, D.; Burns; Burrows; Canales; Clardy; Coleman; Collier; Cook; Cortez; Cosper; Cyrier; Darby; Davis, S.; Davis, Y.; Deshotel; Dukes; Dutton; Farrar; Flynn; Geren; Gervin-Hawkins; Giddings; González; Gooden; Guerra; Guillen; Gutierrez; Hefner; Hernandez; Herrero; Hinojosa; Holland; Howard; Huberty; Hunter; Israel; Johnson, E.; Johnson, J.; Kacal; King, K.; King, T.; Koop; Kuempel; Lambert; Landgraf; Longoria; Lucio; Martinez; Metcalf; Miller; Minjarez; Moody; Muñoz; Murr; Neave; Nevárez; Oliveira; Ortega; Paddie; Perez; Phelan; Phillips; Pickett; Price; Raney; Raymond; Reynolds; Roberts; Rodriguez, E.; Rodriguez, J.; Romero; Rose; Schubert; Sheffield; Shine; Smithee; Springer; Stephenson; Stucky; Thierry; Thompson, E.; Thompson, S.; Turner; Uresti; VanDeaver; Villalba; Vo; Walle; Wray; Wu; Zerwas

Nays – Anderson, C.; Anderson, R.; Biedermann; Bohac; Bonnen, G.; Burkett; Cain; Capriglione; Craddick; Dale; Dean; Elkins; Faircloth; Fallon; Frank; Frullo; Goldman; Gonzales; Isaac; Keough; King, P.; Klick; Krause; Lang; Larson; Laubenberg; Leach; Meyer; Morrison; Murphy; Parker; Paul; Rinaldi; Sanford; Schaefer; Schofield; Shaheen; Simmons; Stickland; Swanson; Tinderholt; White; Wilson; Workman; Zedler

Present, not voting – Mr. Speaker(C)

Absent – Button; Lozano; Oliverson



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