Relations between the House and Senate have deteriorated, but with 10 days left in the session, no one can yet predict either success or failure. Still, much of the buzz among Capitol insiders these days revolves around the likelihood of a special session. 

Rumor is that an agreement has been reached — or is at least in sight — on the budget, but adding other legislation into the mix, as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick did earlier this week, has complicated the situation.

If the Legislature does not pass a budget, a special session will be mandatory; other legislation continuing the functions of several state agencies is also crucial and its failure would likely trigger a special session. Although Gov. Greg Abbott has been relatively quiet on the subject, he alone has the ability to call a special session. Even if a budget passes he could choose to bring legislators back to address an item on his priority list.

What would a special session mean for educators? First, if the reason for the special session was the failure to pass a budget, legislators would have to renew negotiations over the level of school funding, and there is no guarantee that the amount of funding on the table (currently more than $1.5 billion, per the House budget) would be the same as during the regular session. Second, the governor must delineate the specific subjects that can be considered during a special session; it is entirely possible that education would be among them. This could mean the revival of problematic issues that for now appear very unlikely to survive this session, such as a voucher program and a prohibition on payroll deduction of association dues. 

The trajectory of this session should become more clear over the course of the next few days; check TCTA's daily updates and social media for the latest information.