While the Texas House has taken “practice” votes on vouchers before, Friday marked the first time in many years that a specific voucher proposal — contained in a far-reaching education bill, HB 1 — has reached the floor.
The House stripped the voucher provisions from the bill on a vote of 84-63 (click here to see the unofficial roll call vote).
House Bill 1 is an “omnibus” education bill that includes not only the voucher program (as education savings accounts), but additional funding for schools, a teacher salary increase, special education and virtual education proposals, and more.
If HB 1 passes the House, it will move to the Senate, which is likely to restore the ESA program. UPDATE: After the amendment to remove vouchers from the bill passed, the House stood at ease for a while; upon reconvening, the bill author, Chairman Brad Buckley, moved to return the bill to the House Select Committee on Educational Enrichment and Opportunity. This means the bill will not be voted on by the full House at this time.
Both the House and Senate are recessed until Tuesday, Nov. 21.