We may at times fault legislators for the decisions they make, but we appreciate the many, many hours of work they perform in service to the state. Just a few hours after the House adjourned after 3:00 a.m. Thursday, having spent more than 16 hours debating sanctuary city legislation, the House Public Education Committee convened at 8:00 a.m. The committee recessed for a lengthy House floor session, then reconvened Thursday afternoon, meeting until 3:00 a.m. Friday.

The committee meeting included consideration of a TCTA bill, HB 1261 by Rep. Gina Hinojosa. The bill prohibits charter schools from excluding students because of their disciplinary history, and it has garnered significant support, though unsurprisingly some charter schools are opposing the legislation. Click here to see TCTA's testimony on the bill.

The education community had been surprised when a limited voucher bill was scheduled for this meeting, given Chair Dan Huberty's staunch opposition to private school voucher programs. The Coalition for Public Schools (of which TCTA is a founding and active member) testified in opposition to HB 1335 by Rep. Ron Simmons. The bill, which would establish a savings account program to provide public funds for certain children with special needs to attend private schools, is not expected to pass out of the committee.

Among the bills that were passed out Thursday was HB 1799, an educator misconduct bill that creates a "do not hire" registry.