SB 1 by Sen. Brandon Creighton was filed Monday evening. The $500 million program would be funded out of General Revenue and administered through the Comptroller’s office. Other provisions of the voucher bill include:
- $8,000 per eligible student annually to pay for private school tuition and other related educational expenses (uniforms, textbooks, assessments, tutoring, transportation, fees for educational therapies).
- Eligible students include those who: (1) were enrolled in a Texas public school for at least 90 percent of the school year preceding the school year for which the child applies to enroll in the program; (2) are enrolling in prekindergarten or kindergarten for the first time; or (3) attended a private school on a full-time basis during the preceding school year.
- Once a child is eligible for the program they can participate until they graduate from high school or until they are no longer eligible to attend a public school in Texas.
Students could only enroll in a pre-approved private school to access the voucher.
- The Comptroller’s office would establish a process for the pre-approval of education service providers and vendors of educational products for participation in the program.
- Provides a method to prioritize students if there are more applicants than available funds:
- No more than 40 percent of available positions for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch
- No more than 30 percent of available positions for students who are in a household with a total income that is between 185 and 500 percent of the federal poverty guidelines
- No more than 20 percent of available positions for students who have a disability
- The remaining 10 percent is open to any students who attended public, private, or home school in the previous school year.
The Senate Education Committee met on this bill Tuesday, October 10. See video of the hearing.