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Both the Texas Senate and House are swiftly moving their respective bills related to Gov. Greg Abbott’s fourth called special session agenda through the legislative process.

Texas House

On Friday, November 10, the House Select Committee on Educational Opportunity & Enrichment met to hear two school safety measures by Rep. Ken King.

  • HJR 1 proposes a constitutional amendment creating the State School Safety Fund (SSSF) to provide ongoing financial support for school safety projects in public schools. It would provide for the transfer of certain general revenues to the newly created state school safety fund. It requires this measure to be approved by the voters to become effective.
  • HB 2 establishes two grant programs: the School Safety Grant Program and the School Safety Plan Implementation Grant Program. The programs would be funded by transfers of money to the school safety fund that could not exceed $1.1 billion per year. The bill repeals the School Safety Allotment. TEA would administer the program. HJR 1 must receive voter approval for HB 2 to become effective. See the public comments on HB 2 that were submitted online.

Both school safety measures were voted out of the committee and will likely be set on the calendar to be considered by the full House sometime next week, November 13-17.

The select committee also passed out HB1 (ESA/vouchers/funding/accountability) after a long day of invited and public testimony on Thursday, November 9. HB 1 will likely be added to the calendar to be heard by the full House next week. More than 1,000 pages of online public comments were submitted on HB 1. See the comments. (See TASA’s summary of the bill.)

Texas Senate

On Thursday, November 9, the Senate Education Committee met to hear SB 1 (ESA/vouchers) and SB 2 (public education funding). The committee voted out both bills, which are almost identical to versions passed in the third called special session. Upon receipt, the House referred the bills to the Select Committee on Educational Opportunity & Enrichment and they have not yet been set for a hearing.

Next Steps

The House adjourned until Saturday, November 11, at 9 a.m. The Senate has adjourned until Monday, November 13, at 2 p.m.