So, my House Legiscritter, David Spiller, was one of four rural Republican members of the House, anti-vouchers steadfast through the regular sesssion of the Texas Lege, and the first three special sessions, who jumped ship this time to be a mouse in the Abbott-Patrick pocket.
This has to be all the more embarrassing, the overall vote, as Abbott agreed to tie this to improved public School funding this time around. That improved funding included an increase in the state basic allotment to schools AND a promise it would be COLA-ed from 2026 on. (That said, as that's a regular Legislature enactment, not a special, stipulated bureau of the state government like the Social Security Administration at the federal level, I don't think a COLA being tied in would have any legally binding power on future Legislatures.)
Anyway, even without further speculation, maybe that was enough to satisfy Spiller. Or maybe, since his HD68 overlaps the SD30 where Drew Springer said earlier this month that he won't run for re-election, just maybe Abbott and Patrick recruited him. If so, as I noted last week, you heard it here first.As for the issue at hand? Rural House Republican Gary VanDeaver (a former superintendent) gets it — a small-town school district is the heart of a town. Yes, my region includes a place that also has a private school. But, vouchers would open the door on homeschooling that has no bricks-and-mortar presence, no focus for students, parents or larger community, and more.