Voucher bills are noth­ing new for the Leg­is­la­ture

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Fauzeya Rah­man Poli­ti­Fact Texas Poli­ti­Fact

Near the start of this year’s leg­isla­tive ses­sion, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stood on the Capi­tol’s steps and ex­horted law­mak­ers in the House and Se­nate to vote on “school choice” leg­is­la­tion, say­ing it’s “easy to kill a bill when no one gets to vote on it.”

An ad­vo­cacy group op­posed to us­ing pub­lic money to sup­port stu­dents go­ing to pri­vate and reli­gious schools urged a dif­fer­ent course. In a press re­lease, the Coali­tion for Pub­lic Schools, which says it rep­re­sents reli­gious, child ad­vo­cacy and ed­u­ca­tion or­ga­ni­za­tions, urged the Leg­is­la­ture to “fo­cus its ef­forts on pro­vid­ing sup­port for our neigh­bor­hood pub­lic schools in­stead of fun­nel­ing pub­lic tax dol­lars to (pri­vate school) voucher schemes with lit­tle or no ac­count­abil­ity for how our tax dol­lars are spent.”

The eight-para­graph re­lease closed with a his­tor­i­cal claim: “Texas leg­is­la­tors have filed voucher pro­pos­als in ev­ery leg­isla­tive ses­sion since 1995, but all of them have failed to be­come law.”

That’d be a big 0 for 11 for voucher pro­po­nents be­cause state law­mak­ers con­vene in reg­u­lar ses­sion ev­ery odd-num­bered year. We de­cided to check the record. Won­der­ing how the coali­tion reached its con­clu­sion, we con­tacted a mem­ber, the Texas Free­dom Net­work, which emailed us a web link to a 2007 net­work re­port in­clud­ing an ap­pendix list­ing Texas “voucher leg­is­la­tion” dat­ing to 1993.

We paused to cover some def­i­ni­tions. Huriya Jab­bar, a Univer­sity of Texas pro­fes­sor of ed­uca-

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