Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Texas House Thwarts Voucher Bill - by Connie Sadowski

The Heartland Institute - Texas House Thwarts Voucher Bill - by Connie Sadowski: "A proposal to create a statewide school voucher program was shelved in the Texas House of Representatives May 23 after five hours of heated debate, effectively ending any chance of giving Lone Star State students full school choice until the next legislative session convenes in 2007.

'It is a sad day in Texas when legislators vote against an educational option that would save our most vulnerable children in our inner cities,' said Peggy Venable, director of the Texas chapter of Americans for Prosperity. 'These legislators have turned their backs on the kids trapped in low-performing schools, the students who are victims of violence, and others who would have benefitted.'

The bill went through a series of last-minute changes and votes, with one amendment being tabled on a 72-71 vote and another losing 72-72, according to the May 24 issue of the Houston Chronicle. The bill was then amended to give students vouchers only to attend the public school of their choice, defeating its central purpose. House Speaker Tom Craddick (R-Midland) used a parliamentary procedure to close debate on the bill for the session.

'I woke up this morning thinking this may be the day we made history in Texas,' sponsor State Rep. Kent Grusendorf (R-Arlington) told the Chronicle. 'I'm disappointed.'"


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