The Texas Legislature has officially adjourned sine die, concluding the fourth special session of the year. This session, called by Governor Abbott, was predominantly focused on school vouchers and immigration policies.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2023
CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected]
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Legislature has officially adjourned sine die, concluding the fourth special session of the year. This session, called by Governor Abbott, was predominantly focused on school vouchers and immigration policies.
Despite Governor Abbott’s efforts, multiple voucher bills did not garner sufficient legislative support to become law during the regular 88th legislative session or the following special sessions since.
In response to the session’s conclusion, Texas Freedom Network Executive Director Val Benavidez (she/her/ella) provided the following statement:
“The failure of the latest voucher proposal reaffirms a fundamental truth: Texans are steadfast in their commitment to ensuring every child has the right to a quality education. This commitment to our children remains firm, irrespective of their financial status, the color of their skin, or whether they or their family are part of the LGBTQIA+ community. The proposed voucher legislation, which threatened to divert essential funding from our public schools to private institutions potentially discriminatory toward our students, has run out the clock. At TFN, we will continue the fight for an education system that serves the needs of all students, not just a privileged few.
“While we recognize this victory against vouchers, we must also confront Governor Abbott’s alarming strategy to shift focus from his legislative setbacks. His intensification of the criminalization of immigrants in our communities is not only a reprehensible attempt to deflect from his failure to pass voucher laws but also a desperate, calculated move to shift blame, create divisions, and scapegoat our undocumented neighbors.
“TFN is unwavering in the belief that education is a right for all children and we will continue to oppose any policies that undermine this principle. We are committed to fighting for a just and inclusive Texas, where the dreams and rights of every child, including those from immigrant families, are protected and valued.
“In the midst of these legislative battles, Governor Abbott’s unwarranted and excessive use of special sessions stands out as a stark abuse of power. Calling four special sessions in a single year is a major deviation from our constitutional norms, and it’s shameful that he would hold public school funding and teacher pay hostage to benefit wealthy interests. In real emergencies like the Uvalde shooting and the 2021 Winter Storm, no special sessions were called. This pattern smacks of authoritarianism, and it is not reflective of the democratic principles that Texans value.
“Our message to Governor Abbott is unequivocal: Listen to the people of Texas. The constant overreach and misuse of special sessions must end. We are united for fair and just governance that upholds the values of democracy and respects the voices of all Texans.”