REMINDER: Saturday (May 13th) CVPE Zoom meeting noon-1:30 pm to discuss the state takeover and Governor Abbott's attack on public schools. We will also watch a clip from "A Perfect Storm: The Takeover of New Orleans Public Schools" and discuss how these two power grabs are similar and lessons we can learn. RSVP at

The #TxLege tried to rush through a voucher bill without a hearing. That didn't work. So now they're trying to rush it through without public testimony. But they can't silence you. Submit a comment on #SB8 online Read more from Texas Observer's Pawns in a Voucher Scheme.

FLOOD the House with emails and phone calls from TEXANS saying no to vouchers and no to expanding high-stakes testing. 

  1. Click here to send a letter to your House Member now!  
  2. Submit a public comment here by Monday at 8am.
  3. Email all of the House Public Education Committee members. Copy and paste the House Public Education Committee members' emails here. [email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected] 
Details about the bill from TASB:
The House Public Education Committee will hold a hearing at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 15, in room E2.036 in the Texas Capitol to hear invited testimony only on Senate Bill 8 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe). The expected committee substitute by Chairman Brad Buckley (R-Salado) consists mainly of significant changes to the state assessment system and the creation of an education savings account voucher program. The committee substitute shared with stakeholders on Tuesday:
  • Requires TEA to adopt or develop a new test to transition from STAAR to the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) by the 2027-28 school year. TEA would eliminate the eighth grade social studies STAAR exam and would replace Algebra I, English I, and English II end-of-course exams with one math and one English state assessment in the eleventh grade, preliminary assessments in ninth grade, and a biology assessment.
  • Requires TEA to administer three tests each year to students in grades 3 through 8 as part of through-year assessments and allows TEA to force districts to participate in the Through-Year Assessment Pilot program.
  • Requires TEA to maintain a list of industry certifications aligned to high-wage, high-skill, in-demand occupations for the purpose of including industry certifications in college, career, and military readiness accountability calculations.
  • Requires the commissioner to establish, modify, and increase accountability standards to continuously improve student performance and, beginning with the 2022-23 school year, requires the commissioner to increase the performance standards every fourth year.
  • Creates an education savings account (ESA) that would be funded through tax credits against state taxes to businesses that donate to the program. Eligible children include those who are eligible to attend public school AND are educationally disadvantaged; disabled; or were enrolled in public school 90% of the previous year/are entering public school kindergarten or first grade AND: have a 504 plan, attended a D or lower campus for one of the previous two years, or are a sibling of a student in the ESA program. 
  • Provides that ESAs would be worth $9,000 for a child who is educationally disadvantaged when applying for the program or $7,500 for a child not defined as educationally disadvantaged. Additionally, students with a disability would also be eligible for the greater of $1,500 or the amount the child was entitled to for special education services in the school they most recently attended.
  • Allows individuals to spend ESA funds on approved education-related expenses, such as private school tuition, higher education costs, virtual education, instructional materials, assessments, tutors, transportation, educational therapies, technology, meals during the school day, and before- or after-school care.
  • Requires that ESA recipients agree to only spend funds on approved expenses, ensure administration of state-approved assessments, refrain from selling items purchased with ESA funds, notify the comptroller if the student enrolls in public school, graduates, or is no longer eligible to enroll in public school.
  • Requires the Texas Comptroller to oversee the ESA program and allows the authorization of educational assistance organizations (EAOs) that would collect and distribute funds for ESAs. The comptroller would be able to collect 3% of overall funds for overseeing the program and EAOs would be able to collect up to 5% for operations.
  • Requires the comptroller to contract with a third party to annually audit accounts and student eligibility data.
  • Requires EAOs to notify parents that private schools are not subject to federal and state laws regarding special education services and that students with disabilities are entitled to certain rights in public schools.


Working Together to Strengthen Houston's Public School System