Lt. Governor Dan Patrick: Response to Texas House Rejection of HB 21


AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued the following statement today following the Texas House rejection of House Bill 21 — the $530 million school funding plan:

“I am appalled that the Texas House turned down an additional half-billion dollars for public schools simply because it included a program that might allow some disabled child somewhere in Texas to attend a private school that his parents believe would be better for him or her. The House members who voted against HB 21 ignored the needs of disabled children to take a stand against school choice, which is supported by a strong majority of Texans in every demographic group and both political parties. Instead of supporting those Texans, those House members buckled under the demands of education bureaucrats.

“Although Texas House leaders have been obstinate and closed-minded on this issue throughout this session, I was hopeful when we put this package together last week that we had found an opening that would break the logjam. I simply did not believe they would vote against both disabled children and a substantial funding increase for public schools.

“I was wrong. House Bill 21 is now dead.”

House Bill 21 contained the following components:

  • $200 million for ASATR
  • $200 million new money for the Foundation School Program
  • $100 million for fast growth schools and charter schools for facility funding.
  • The bill included Education Savings Accounts for children with disabilities.
  • Upon passage by the House, the official start date for A through F would be pushed back until 2019, making the 2018 scores another sample year.