The current fourth called special session will end on December 6th. But as things currently stand coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday, there is very little hope by the Governor’s office to revive the passage of an Educational Saving Account program. The ESA’s are designed to give parents an opportunity to apply for state funds to send their child to a private school. Governor Abbott has been advocating for school choice throughout the past year, and was the main reason he called this fourth special session.
On Friday before Thanksgiving, H.B. 1 that created an ESA program and provided additional funding to public school districts failed. An amendment to remove ESA from H.B. 1 by Rep. Raney, a retiring Republican member from Bryan, was adopted, which essentially killed the bill.
While there is still some talk that efforts continue on ESA’s in the limited remaining time left for this special session, most of the attention in Austin is turning to the 2024 Election Cycle. Filing for office started on November 11 and will end December 11th. As of today 15, House members have announced they will not be returning. One Senator is retiring. Forty incumbent House members have challengers and two senators, thus far, have known challengers. We expect a few more retirements and anticipate that more incumbents will draw opponents as we move closer to the filing deadline on December 11.