Texas Senators' Debate Over Private-school Vouchers Gets Heated

AUSTIN — Senators clashed with members of the public and one another Friday as a Senate panel debated using state tax dollars to help disabled students attend private schools. The "tax credit scholarships" for special-needs children, though just one part of a larger education bill tinkering with school finance, dominated the Senate Education Committee's discussion. Opponents said repeatedly that the bill would siphon money from hard-pressed public schools. That irked Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Houston Republican. He noted that of the $345 million that the bill would spend, mostly through delaying some Medicaid payments until the 2020-2021 budget cycle, at least $270 million would go to public schools. "By any mathematics that I understand, that's 78.2 percent of this bill, for the public schools," he said.   Continue reading...

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