Dead Voucher Walking
Yesterday we talked aboutthe Virtual Voucher bill
before the Senate sponsored by Houston Sen. Kyle Janek that would allow low-income students in urban areas to leave the public school system for the private, and pay for it with state funds.
Turns out in the wee hours of the morning today— they ended around 4:30 a.m. — the House side of the Capitol action overwhelmingly passed a bill barring the use of state money for vouchers to trot kids over to private school. It was 129-8 in a game-set-match rejection of vouchers.
This goes directly counter to the Janek bill. It arrived in the form of an amendment to the proposed state budget and was sponsored by newbie Rep. Joe Heflin, D- Crosbyton, in West Texas.
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. UCF Knights Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 29, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. Florida Atlantic University Owls Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 5, 2:30pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulane University Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 12, 11:00am
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Louisville Cardinals College Football
TicketsThu., Nov. 17, 7:00pm
The only exception allowed in Heflin's amendment is that state money can be used for private schools and Head Start for Pre K and kindergarten. That's probably because the public school districts can't build quickly enough to meet the escalating desire for these services and there have been a lot of collaborative private/public efforts in this area.
Vouchers may not yet be dead this session — after all the House and the Senate still have to conference — but a 129-8 rejection is going to be tough to overcome. -- Margaret Downing
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.