HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — With the Texas Legislative session ending on Memorial Day, a school funding bill is generating interest in Austin.
House Bill 100 has hit the state senate and one group is not happy with how it is being handled.
The Texas State Teachers Association says it has become a “voucher bill.”
House Bill 100, passed in Austin back in April was originally intended to provide $4.5 billion in funding for schools. The idea was to provide teacher raises and balance school budget in an environment where inflation made pay checks of lesser value.
Meanwhile, Governor Greg Abbott has pushed for a voucher program that was open to a large percentage of the population – even appearing ready to call a special session for it.
The Texas State Teachers Association believes the Texas Senate is making some adjustments to this bill.
The group’s president says a late-breaking amendment is putting vouchers into the bill and would increase the basic allotment per student by only $50, hundreds of dollars less than school finance experts say is necessary to meet the inflationary costs.
“This is not the bill to do it. Private schools are not going to help all of our students. The voucher that they are promising our families is not going to cover everything for their private schools,” Ovidia Molina, president of Texas State Teachers Association said.
According Molina, the voucher push has been the norm.
“He [Abbott[ repeatedly hears not just from the community members and voters in Texas but also from our representatives who have stopped the vouchers in Texas not just this session so far, but for years,” she said.
We reached out to the Governor and Lt. Governor’s office as well as conservative members of Texas Legislature for comment.
The current legislative session ends on Monday, May 29.