Click here to see the legislative advocacy page of our website to see all of the bills that TPSA has been working on this session. We will have final status updates on June 1st when the session officially ends.



 
Protecting Private Schools from Over-Regulation

HB 2360 and HB 788 are defeated


Two bills that were harmful to private schools met their demise this session.  HB 2360 required that all private schools that served children who were victims of human trafficking be licensed by the state of Texas. While there are not many schools that fall under this definition, there is one TPSA member school that does, and it serves children and families extremely well with private money. There is no reason for this school to have to be licensed by the state as it is already fully accredited. The bill passed the House of Representatives, and TPSA testified in opposition to the bill and spoke to many legislators about its harmful effects on our schools.  The bill was not heard in the Senate. 

Another bill (HB 788) would require that all for-profit after-school programs operating at a private school be licensed by the state.  While this bill would not affect many of our schools because they often use internal after-school programs, it would limit our choices for after-school programming, and we were worried that the bill could be amended in committee or on the floor to include any kind of after-school program.  TPSA testified in opposition to this bill and it did not get out of committee in the House. 


May Featured Schools

Congratulations to our featured schools of the month: Immanuel Christian School, Liberty Christian School, Odyssey School, River City Christian School, and The Shlenker School.  These schools serve children and families in different ways, but they are all committed to excellence in private education.

Last Chance!  Register Now!
June 10, 2015
Baylor University
Waco, TX
TPSA Workshop for
Administrators and Teachers!

 

 Schedule

8:00 Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:30-10:30 Legislative Round Table featuring Representative Dwayne Bohac
10:30-45 Break
10:45-11:45 School Safety Seminar by Texas School Safety Center of Texas State University

11:45-12:45 Lunch

Afternoon academic sessions are hands-on activities using current approaches to content presentation

1:00-1:50  Affordable Technology
2:00-2:50 Implementing Technology in Classroom Settings
3:00-3:50 Today’s Best Apps
4:00-4:50 How Does Technology Fit into the Flipped Classroom?

 Registration here.  Or contact Dr. Randy Wood for more information at (254)710-2410 or [email protected]

 
HB 1881 - Allowing Private Schools to Pass Along Credit Card Fees Goes to the Governor!



On Saturday, May 23rd, the bill that allows private schools to pass along credit card fees to parents who want to use this method of payment, passed the Senate.  Pictured above is the vote count in the House when the bill was laid out for a vote by Representative Giovanni Capriglione.  "Yes" votes are green.  It passed without a single "no" vote due to the respect that other members have for Rep. Capriglione as well as the basic fairness and common sense of this bill!

Thank you to the parents and school leaders who travelled to Austin to testify in favor of this bill!  Thank you also to Senator Brandon Creighton and his staff who shepherded this bill quickly through the Senate.  The picture below shows Senator Kelly Hancock speeding his way through the local and consent calendar and finally passing our bill to send to the Governor! 


SB 4 - Tax Credit Scholarships Pass the Senate, but No Hearing in the House


Senate Education Committee Chairman Larry Taylor picked up our tax credit scholarship bill, formerly known as SB 642 sponsored by Senator Bettencourt, as a Senate priority bill, SB 4. This is the bill that allows businesses to donate to non-profit scholarship granting organizations in exchange for a credit on the margins or franchise tax. He brought this bill to the floor of the Senate and is shown here standing on the left and discussing the bill with Senator Perry, Bettencourt and Huffines while Senator Creighton sits.  It passed the Senate on April 21st with a vote of 17 to 13 and was sent to the House as a priority bill for Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.   



There were many deliberately untruthful statements made throughout the process, from calling this legislation a voucher to stating that private schools discriminate against students.  One particularly misleading article in the Waco Tribune prompted a response from our Executive Director correcting the record on Tax Credit Scholarships.




Unfortunately, Chairman of Ways and Means Dennis Bonnen and Speaker of the House Joe Straus did not schedule this bill to be heard in the House, despite overwhelming public support. Teacher groups, Raise Your Hand Texas, public school Superintendents and other groups spent millions of dollars to defeat this bill, including producing a video with disparaging comments about private schools.

While we got further than any previous session since this type of legislation was introduced twenty years ago, but we did not get this bill over the finish line.  More of the public and more legislators understand the benefits of a tax credit scholarship program, and we know that the voters want some type of school choice.  We are already starting to plan for the next session, and we would like to thank Representative Dwayne Bohac for working so hard on trying to get this bill heard in the House.  He was a champion for our bill and for the economic justice that it would provide.