View as Webpage • November 8, 2023

Texas Education Policy Alert

Weekly Update

IDRA's weekly email alert includes legislative updates, opportunities for action to make your voice heard, bills to watch and other information. As state leadership calls special sessions, we will keep you updated.

The Fight to Keep Public Funds in Public Schools Continues in the Texas Legislature 

The Governor last night called lawmakers to continue their work immediately in a fourth special session. During the third called special session that ended yesterday evening, lawmakers advanced two of the Governor’s five special priorities. Fortunately, legislators did not make headway on the primary one: a private school voucher plan.

Hundreds of students, parents, educators and community members showed up at their local schools and the state capitol to successfully advocate that public funds be kept in public schools. 

The Governor continued to prioritize private school vouchers over public school funding during the session. The Texas Senate passed two bills in early October: one to put forward small investments in public schools and teacher pay, and the other for a universal private school voucher plan.

Texas House legislators held strong against private school vouchers and proposed its own bill late in the 30-day session. The House bill combined increases to public school funding, teacher pay, special education, and virtual instruction, the school accountability system and early literacy along with a private school voucher plan. This proposal failed to gain enough support and never had a public hearing.  

In the final days of the session, lawmakers released a new version of this proposal. It was touted as a “deal” on vouchers, but nothing changed. Significant increases in public school funding, teacher pay and special programs are still being held as bait for a private school voucher program. 

With the start of a fourth special session, lawmakers need to hear from Texans like you who want to keep public money in public schools to support our students. The House will hold public hearings on their voucher bill this Thursday, November 9 at 9:00 am and continue testimony on Friday, November 10 at 9:00 am, if needed.

Stay tuned for policy updates and ways to take action via our social media @IDRAedu and @TxTLEEC.

Make Your Voice Heard, Submit House Public Comment!

You can submit written comments on the House voucher bill this Thursday.

If you live in the Austin area, come to the Capitol on Thursday, November 9 to testify against HB 1!  

Educator Input Needed to Review Instructional Materials Rubrics

The Texas Education Agency is seeking educator and community input on new rubrics for reviewing state-approved instructional materials. This is part of implementing HB 1605, which creates incentives for school districts to use state-approved materials that adhere to the Texas censorship law and creates state lists for books and vocabulary. The TEA will hold focus groups by subject area through November.

Tools & Resources

Learn more about IDRA’s special session policy recommendations for Texas

See our Infographic: 5 Reasons Vouchers Hurt Students

Read the Special Session Policy Agenda for the Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition (TLEEC) 

How to Testify before the Texas Legislature, Infographic

New Infographic: Texas Should Not Throw Away $500 Million

IDRA is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to achieve equal educational opportunity through strong public schools that prepare all students to access and succeed in college. 
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