Legislative Dashboard

The Legislative Dashboard will return for the next Legislative session in 2025. Action on bills in 2023 Special Sessions will post here when relating to education. Below is a link to the Texas Association of School Administrators round-up of the outcome of legislation related to education.

No teacher raises. A failed school voucher push. Armed guards. Here’s what changed for public education this legislative session.

By Brian Lopez, The Texas Tribune

June 2, 2023

"No teacher raises. A failed school voucher push. Armed guards. Here’s what changed for public education this legislative session." was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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With a historic $32.7 billion budget surplus on hand, some lawmakers had the cash and optimism at the beginning of this year’s legislative session to tackle some of the biggest issues regarding public schools, like teacher shortages and school funding.

But those lofty goals crumbled in the end as clashing political ideologies, a fight over school vouchers and squabbles between the Texas Senate and House derailed bills that would have injected billions of dollars into public schools.

Instead, teachers are the only state employees who won’t receive raises this session. Bills that would’ve allocated funds to better prepare teachers and help keep them in the profession longer failed along the way — despite being prompted by the recommendations of a task force created by Gov. Greg Abbott to tackle teacher shortages.

Most notably, House Bill 100, which would have given teachers modest raises and helped ease schools’ financial strains caused by the pandemic and inflation, died Saturday after Senate Republicans shoehorned school vouchers, a measure that the House vehemently opposed, into the proposal.

But it’s likely the debate on school vouchers will soon continue. Abbott, who traveled across the state during the session advocating for “school choice” measures, said a few weeks ago he would call lawmakers back for a special session if they didn’t pass a school vouchers program to his liking.

It remains to be seen if anything different can be accomplished in a special session. House Democrats and rural Republicans once again banded together to defeat vouchers, saying such programs would siphon money out of public schools. Many of them are likely to hold firm in their opposition, though Senate Republicans might try to force their hand by continuing to withhold school funding until a voucher program is approved.

What did pass this session were a sweeping school safety bill that would place armed guards at every campus, cost-of-living adjustments for retired teachers, bans on sexually explicit books in libraries, and curriculum reforms aimed at reducing teacher workload and increasing test scores. The proposals are now headed to Abbott’s desk.

Here’s a look at what changed for public education this session.

No teacher raises