Fourth special session House hearings begin | TCTA
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Fourth special session House hearings begin

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The House Select Committee on Educational Opportunity and Enrichment met Thursday to hear public commentary on HB 1, the House’s omnibus education finance and voucher bill for the special session. The committee invited a handful of education stakeholders to speak, including TCTA’s Director of Legislation Paige Williams. As was the case when the committee held hearings this summer, TCTA was the only teacher group invited to testify.

Most of those who testified focused on the voucher aspect of the bill, which TCTA opposes, but Williams focused her testimony on other concerns, including:

  • compression of the minimum salary schedule from 20 years to 10 years,
  • switching teacher contracts from monthly to annual, and
  • lacking investment in the basic allotment to sustain proposed teacher pay raises.

Dozens of groups and individuals commented on the bill, most in opposition because it includes a voucher program in the form of education savings accounts. Many suggested that the voucher portion be separated from the education finance sections, but it is highly unlikely that the bill undergoes such a significant change at this point.

The hearing concluded around 10 PM and the bill was left pending; the committee met again Friday morning to hear public commentary on a couple of school safety bills and vote them and HB 1 out of committee. Both school safety bills passed unanimously, but HB 1 faced Democratic opposition and passed 10-4.