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Texas Senate Votes for Parental Choice in Educational Opportunities for Our Children

March 30, 2017

AUSTIN – Senate Bill 3, authored by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), passed the Texas Senate by a vote of 18-13 today. The legislation begins school choice for Texas schoolchildren through two opportunities – an Education Savings Account (ESA) program and a Tax Credit Scholarship program.

These programs would be available to 17 million people within the most populated 17 counties (roughly 4 million school aged children) in Texas and provide a “parent trigger” for counties with a population under 285,000 people. The “parent trigger” would establish criteria for voters in exempted counties to call for an election to determine if their school district should opt in to a school choice program.

“We have some excellent public schools in Texas, but we also have some schools that aren’t providing the best opportunity for their students and even the best of our schools don’t meet all the needs of all students,” said SB 3 author and Senate Education Committee Chair Larry Taylor. “This legislation will level the playing field for Texas parents who are desperate for more choices, but are limited because of their financial resources.”

The ESA program, to be administered by the State Comptroller, will provide parents with funds for the education needs of their child including private school tuition, private tutoring, online learning or other qualified options such as instructional materials and courses.

The Tax Credit Scholarship program, to be administered by a non-profit educational assistance organization selected by the State Comptroller, provides scholarships to eligible students from private businesses. Eligible students may receive a scholarship for up to 75% of the average statewide school districts’ daily attendance or a scholarship up to $500 for academic support programs at a public school. Texas special needs children would be funded at a higher level of 90%.

“A child’s future should not be predetermined by their zip code,” stated Senate Republican Caucus Treasurer Van Taylor (R-Plano). “Choice leads to competition; and allowing parents the ability to use a portion of their tax dollars to send their child to a school of their choice will give students more opportunity while improving our education system.”

Echoing Senator Eddie Lucio’s (D-Brownsville) statement on SB 3 in bi-partisan agreement, “This parental choice bill is for Texas parents to help find the best school for their children,” concluded Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston).

The two programs are estimated to potentially have 30,000 to 70,000 children participate at their parent’s choice. It should be noted one year of growth in Texas public schools is 86,000 students.

Senate Bill 3 has been widely supported by Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former U.S. Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texas).

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I have a special religious liberty message for the Easter Weekend. I am proud of all my 19 Republican Collegues that voted to provide Texas license holders some protection for deeply help religious beliefs.

We were joined by Senator Lucio (D-Brownsville) as well because this common sense law is supported by the vast majority of Texans. Discrimination should not apply to any person in Texas in the 21st Century!

Speaking in favor, elegantly, is Senate Bill 17 author, Senator Perry (R-Lubbock) as well as Senators Paxton (R-McKinney) and Hancock (R-North Richland Hills). Listen to them now and read more about the bill here: capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/html/SB00017E.htm

Chair Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston)
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Good idea. Wish you folks felt as strongly about the 2nd Amendment. But the caucus is clueless and stupid when it comes to representing those that elected you. Caring only about business special interests.

The Texas Senate Republican Caucus held a joint press conference with U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick on Caucus Chair, Paul Bettencourt’s, Senate Resolution 535 that declared the Crisis at the Texas-Mexico International Border an Emergency.

Senator Bettencourt (R-Houston) remarked, “The Texas Senate recognizes the obvious, the obvious is that there is a crisis on the border.” Senator Cornyn (R-TX), commented on the rising interdictions, “When it hits 200,000 will that be enough to acknowledge the obvious?” Senator Cruz (R-TX) pointed out that, “In six months we have seen nearly as many people apprehended in all of the preceding year.” Lieutenant Governor Patrick (R-TX) stated, “Since 2011 we have documentation of 1,761 dead migrants that we have recovered in Texas, many in Brooks County.”

State Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston), stated, “35,000 unaccompanied children, vulnerable to the sex trade, arrived in the last year.” State Senator Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), commented, “Over 100,000 migrants crossed our border illegally just last month, that is a crisis.” State Senator Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton) added, “We and our constituents are at our wits end. The border today is not the border of my youth.”

When asked what the difference was between Democrats and Republicans on this issue, Chairman Bettencourt responded, "That we voted for the Resolution and we took a stand on the crisis at the border."

Read the full resolution here: bit.ly/2PhXaWz
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Where’s Abbott at

Yes sir way way too much ch talking

I look at the border wall as Black Friday as entering the store for good deals....... rush in before they are gone........ e.g. social security, health benefits........only difference is ONES FREE THE OTHER NOT!!

Good grief. Use a brain cell or two. Stopping immigration is not the purpose of a wall. It is to make people use the gate so the immigration can be controlled and LEGAL

Maybe a little less talk and a lot more action is in order? Time to put a stop to illegal entry into the United States!

It’s been a crisis since 1968

So they just now recognise there is a crisis? Most people saw this coming months ago and knew something needed to be done then. I guess better late than never.

Proud of Texas and NM people for trying to stop the invasion of illegals!

Call out the NATIONAL GUARD. Or let the MILITA tack charge

Save lives on both sides of the border. Build the wall protect us all.

BUILD THE WALL!!!!!

Love to see Made in America again!!!

Didn’t see anything in the Houston Chronicle about this. The media is pathetic, a million people could come across in a day and they would not report.

Let’s face it !! No body is listening to the people who pay taxes and vote,! Politicians are out for themselves to be millionaires!!😡😡(Ronnie )

Oh please !! A wall will do nothing to stop migration!!

Then do something . MASS DEPORTATION

Closed the border and build the wall now

About dam time !!!

I remember years ago calling John Cornyn’s office to let him know he would never get my vote again and guess what it was over? The border wall and he would not vote for it. These jokers think the American public forgets over the years so they keep on getting elected.

Question: if the Empress and her cohorts don't care whether a pre-born or surviving aborted child lives or dies, why would they care about illegal border crossers?

having their little convention to figure how they are going to screw the people more

Cornyn, you haven’t done jack about this problem except stand behind individual Mitch McConald in congress at photo ops.

Cornyn, you haven’t done jack about this problem except stand behind individual Mitch McConald in congress at photo ops.

Get with plan John Cornyn

Cronyn probably dealing with Drug Cartel all about Money 😡

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