FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 22, 2017

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller has the following statement on the preliminary approval of House Bill 21 by the Texas Senate. HB 21 was originally a school finance bill but became a voucher bill when it was amended in the Senate. The Texas House of Representatives must still approve the Senate’s version of the bill before it can become law. Miller’s statement:

“The Senate vote on HB 21 is a reflection of Dan Patrick’s anti-education agenda. The version of the bill approved in the House had the backing of teacher groups and public education advocates and could provide much needed additional funding to our chronically underfunded neighborhood public schools. But now that Patrick’s Senate has mangled it, HB 21 is no longer about school finance. Now it is simply a voucher scheme that hands public dollars, with zero accountability, to private schools.  With one bill, the Senate both abandoned its responsibility to fully fund education and voted to take away even more money from our schools. Even by Dan Patrick standards, this has to be one of the most shameful and cynical votes taken in the Senate in recent memory.”

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The Texas Freedom Network is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization of… Read More

A marathon session in the Texas House on that chamber's version of the state budget ended in the wee hours of this morning with a big victory in our fight against school voucher schemes but distressing actions in the continuing war on women's reproductive health care. Read More

In just the second day of the 2017 Texas legislative session, far-right lawmakers are already demonstrating their contempt for LGBT people and public schools. Read More

Opponents of private school vouchers delivered a strong message to Texas House Public Education Committee members at a public hearing on Monday: stop trying to use tax dollars to subsidize private and religious schools at the expense of our neighborhood public schools. Read More

Pastors for Texas Children, a pro-public education group, is warning that the creation of a “parallel private system of education” funded with tax dollars — through vouchers or other schemes — would violate the Texas Constitution and harm the religious schools proponents of such a system want to fund.

That warning came in a brief the group filed on Tuesday with the Texas Supreme Court, which just took up a major case on whether the state’s current system for funding public education meets constitutional requirements.

The Pastors of Texas Children brief follows a brief from a religious-right group, the Houston-based U.S. Pastor Council, which argued that the state’s failure to give taxpayer dollars to sectarian schools is evidence of an anti-religion bias and threatens religious freedom. Pastors for Texas Children flatly rejects such arguments, warning that such schemes would actually harm religious schools:

“The last thing our fine public schools need is more dollars drained away from them, and the last thing our fine private schools need is the government intervention and oversight that will inevitably and necessarily follow the public money they receive.”

The Pastors for Texas Children brief also notes the lack of evidence showing that students who use private school vouchers… Read More

Sophie Novack

Today's the last day of trial on TX law mandating burial/cremation of remains after abortions or miscarriages across the state. Catch up on some of what's happened in court here: texasobserver.org/as… And on what the law could look like: texasobserver.org/in… #txlege #SB8

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