Topic: Education Law
Recently, the Texas Legislature has been busy hearing and considering bills around issues of the costs of private education for younger students, and the exponentially increasing tuition in Texas state colleges. In the most recent news, a senate committee passed a bill that will subsidize private and homeschool education in Texas, while another committee is considering several bills around high education funding.
In a 7-3 vote, the Senate Education Committee passed Senate Bill 3 to move it to the senate floor. If it passes, the bill will give Texas parents an online fund to help them pay for homeschool or a private school of their choice. In addition, businesses that give money to state approved scholarships will receive tax credits.
Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) authored the bill and hopes the bill will decrease the costs of education for the state, while allowing parents to choose the best school for their children. However, opponents think the bill might end up costing the state more money and weakening public education. Most likely, the bill will pass on the full senate floor.
In higher education news, according to Texas lobbyist and attorney Jake Posey state senators from both political parties continue to be concerned about the rising costs of public colleges in Texas. For 15 years, costs of Texas State Universities went up 148% annually. The Higher Education Committee is currently listening to five bills planning to limit or stop rising tuition costs.
The committee will most likely choose one of the five bills it’s currently considering. The current bills all have different methods for addressing college costs. The most likely to pass was authored by committee chairman Ken Seliger (R-Amarillo), which allows universities to raise costs only if they meet certain state performance metrics. Other proposals look to freeze tuition increases for several years, stop increases until the state gives permission, or allow for increases only when Texas lowers University funding.