Greg Abbott

School Choice Lumped Into House Bill 100; Could Get Senate Vote Later This Week

texas capitol building
Frank Heinz, NBC 5 News

The fight over school choice is front and center in Austin Monday.

If passed, school choice would give Texas parents who choose not to enroll their kids in public school up to $8,000 in taxpayer money, per year, per child, to attend a private school.

Over the weekend the original Senate Bill 8 died in a House committee after it failed to come up for a vote. Committee members opted to not call a vote since Gov. Greg Abbott (R) threatened to veto the bill as written.

Abbott said school choice must be an option for most of the state's school children and vowed to call a special session unless a bill is passed that offers meaningful choice to Texas parents.

However, the Senate Committee on Education then lumped the voucher program into HB 100, which is a multi-billion school funding bill designed to give teachers modest raises. The revised bill is now an omnibus bill that cleared the Senate Committee Monday but must go before the full Senate and then back to the House before it could go to the governor's desk.

Some say the plan faces an uphill battle with rural politicians on both sides of the aisle being opposed to school choice because they fear it will take money away from public schools.

"Let's just say we go to special session after a special session on voucher/school choice and House rural Republicans dig in and say, 'No.' What does Greg Abbott do then? This is different than 2021 when he could blame Dems who fled to Washington. This is his own party. If he can't bring it to some resolution, it doesn't bring a good look," said Bob Garrett with The Dallas Morning News, who was a guest on Sunday's Lone Star Politics. The segment can be watched below.

Julie and Gromer speak with Bob Garrett, Dallas Morning News Austin Bureau Chief about the final week of the regular Texas Legislature session - Where bills stand, and whether Gov. Greg Abbott will call a special session - two big topics, school vouchers and property tax relief.

The regular session ends on Memorial Day.

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