House still opposes vouchers

Keep on keeping on, y’all.

The top House education leader said Sunday that “private school choice” is still dead in the lower chamber.

“We only voted six times against it in the House,” House Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty said. “There’s nothing more offensive as a parent of a special-needs child than to tell me what I think I need. I’m prepared to have that discussion again. I don’t think [the Senate is] going to like it — because now I’m pissed off.”

Huberty, R-Houston, told a crowd of school administrators at a panel at the University of Texas at Austin that he plans to restart the conversation on school finance in the July-August special session after the Senate and House hit a stalemate on the issue late during the regular session. Huberty’s bill pumping $1.5 billion into public schools died after the Senate appended a “private school choice” measure, opposed by the House.

Huberty was joined by Education Committee Vice Chairman Diego Bernal, D-San Antonio, and committee member Gary VanDeaver, R-New Boston, on a panel hosted by the Texas Association of School Administrators, where they said they didn’t plan to give in to the Senate on the contentious bill subsidizing private school tuition for kids with special needs.


VanDeaver said educators have two options: They can give in to the Senate’s attempts to attach school finance and private school choice, or they can vote against legislators who want those issues linked.

“If you don’t stick up for yourselves in a real way … we are going to lose,” Bernal added.

Amen to that. The real question is why do so many Senators serve Dan Patrick’s interests instead of their districts’? You know what I say, nothing will change until the people who get elected change.

Beyond that, one wonders how this will play out. Does the House simply refuse to vote a voucher bill out of committee, or do they let it come to the floor and then vote it down? Would Greg Abbott call another special session to force the issue? How big a hissy fit does Dan Patrick throw when he is thwarted? (Spoiler alert: very big.) Bring on the tantrums, I say.

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8 Responses to House still opposes vouchers

  1. Paul Kubosh says:

    I think vouchers are great. Why wouldn’t we want our children to get better education?

  2. Bill Daniels says:


    Vouchers would promote the educational version of “white flight,” where parents who want their kids to get a good education pull those kids out of local schools that aren’t up to snuff, creating a death spiral where those schools become simple warehousing for kids whose parents couldn’t care less about them. Remove the kids who want to learn, remove the stars who might be positive role models for aimless kids without positive parental support, and you’re left with warehousing.

  3. Ross says:

    If private schools were required to accept vouchers for the full cost of educstion, accept any student who applied, and we’re forbidden from using religoon as a basis for the curriculum, then vouchers would be marginally acceptable. Since that’s not going to happen, let’s not give subsidies to the parents who send their kids to St Johns, Strake, etc.

  4. Bill Daniels says:


    You could make the same argument to shut down many of HISD’s magnet schools, schools that do NOT accept any student that applies.

  5. Ross says:

    @Bill, except for the specialty schools like HSPVA, the rest accept all applicants up to the limits of enrollment, or allocate by lottery. Our kid has been accepted at every magnet we’ve applied to.

  6. Bill Daniels says:


    What, exactly, does the application consist of? Is it simply first come, first serve, or is there merit based criteria involved? Is there a merit based component required to remain enrolled at a magnet school?

  7. Bill

    I disagree there a whole lot of African American parents who would like to put their kids in private school if they could just afford it.


    There are plenty of non-religous private schools in Houston. Two of the best Kincaid and John Cooper. They Christmas break is officially knows as Winter break. Their is no “God forbid” religious indoctrination at Kincaid that is for sure.


    On a more serious note let me stop and Congratulate you on the success of your kids. I figure that all of us are political junkies sitting at the Kuffner table. I sometimes forget that we have families also. I could tell by your post that you are a good and proud parent. Hats off to you and have a good evening.

  8. Ross says:

    If the school is a gifted/talented school, there are grade and testing criteria, and it is possible to lose the spot if the child doesn’t meet grading standards. For all magnet schools, behavior issues can result in loss of the spot. Both of those rarely happen.

    The application process is online, and lottery based for all qualified applicants for open spots. The number of spots varies, and may be limited by the number of students zoned to a school. You select up to 5 schools, and rank them in preference order. If you are accepted at your number one choice, the rest of the list is no longer available. This was the case for our kid, whose first choice was one if the magnet only schools with no zoned students. All of this is on the HISD School Choice website if you want more details.

    Paul, thanks!

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