Senate Voucher Bill Heads to Senate Floor Without Public Opportunity to Testify After Last-Minute Meeting During Fourth Special Legislative Session

November 9, 2023

CONTACT: Emily Witt (she/hers), [email protected]

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Senate Committee on Education today voted to advance Senate Bill 1 after they suspended the rules and held a last-minute meeting with no notice given to the public.

SB 1 would establish a voucher program. This is the fourth special session of the year and the second session called to pass this particular legislation, despite the continuous bipartisan rejection of voucher bills.

Texas Freedom Network Interim Political Director Rocío Fierro-Pérez (she/her/ella) issued the following response:

“It is already deplorable to steal taxpayer funds from students in our public schools to benefit wealthy special interests, but it is unforgivable that the Senate would ram this legislation through without giving the public any opportunity to testify or register their position.

“Texans do not want voucher schemes, and legislators choosing to bow to Governor Abbott’s authoritarian rule clearly know that. We will not forget their efforts to circumvent feedback from the very voters who put them in office. We’re calling on all legislators to reject these scams. Fully fund our neighborhood public schools, instead of holding those resources hostage. Our taxpayer dollars should go to public schools that serve all Texas students, not private, unregulated and religious schools that can discriminate against our students while taxpayers foot the costly bill.”

A full debate of the bill could happen on the Senate floor as early as tonight, and other bills are being debated on the floor at the time of this sending.