The Texas House Public Education Committee met May 10 to discuss Senate Bill 8, which concerns private school vouchers, in a special meeting.

SB 8, authored by Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, would create an education savings account program, also known as private school vouchers. If the bill is signed into law, parents who pull their children out of public schools could receive $8,000 per student for private school tuition and other education-related expenses.

What happened: The Texas House Public Education Committee made revisions to SB 8 on May 10.
  • The revised bill eliminates a provision that districts with fewer than 20,000 students would receive $10,000 for each student that leaves the district for a private school.
  • Annual stipends in the revised bill were changed from $8,000 to $7,500 for average students.
  • The revision allows parents to receive $10,500 a year for private school tuition if their child is educationally disadvantaged and has a disability.
  • Parents would receive $9,000 for private school tuition if their child is educationally disadvantaged.
  • The revision eliminates restrictions to classroom lessons.
How we got here: SB 8 passed in the Senate by an 18-13 vote with one Republican and all Democrats voting against it April 6. However, the vote came the same day the House approved a budget amendment to prohibit the use of public funds for education savings accounts in an 86-52 vote. The House heard the first reading April 17.

Next steps: SB 8 is scheduled for a public hearing May 15.

In other news: Senate Bill 9 was also presented to the House early May 10. Also authored by Creighton, SB 9 would give all teachers in Texas a raise.
  • Districts with 20,000 students or fewer would receive a $6,000 raise.
  • Schools with more than 20,000 students would only receive the minimum $2,000 raise.
The bill was left pending in the committee after a public hearing.