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Texas House expected to vote on 'education savings accounts' bill Friday

Gov. Abbott has said he'll veto any version of the bill that doesn't include the voucher-like program.

For the first time this year, the Texas House of Representatives will vote on Friday on a measure that would create education savings accounts. The voucher-like program would divert public funds into private schools. But the measure still faces an uphill battle in the Texas House. The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán has this report.

Three things could happen during Friday’s vote. First, the House could pass its omnibus education bill, which would give $10,500 dollars to qualifying students to pay for their private school tuition. The measure also includes money for school safety and the basic allotment. The House could also kill the bill. Or, the chamber could amend it. This means it could take out the school voucher provision, and just move forward with funding for school safety and upping basic allotment. Right now, all three options seem possible. Gov. Greg Abbott has said he’d veto any education bill without school vouchers. Meanwhile, Democrats and rural Republicans remain steadfast in their opposition to them. I’m Sergio Martínez-Beltrán in Austin.

Northeast Texas state representatives expected to vote on the bill today include Reggie Smith, Gary VanDeaver, Cole Hefner, Jeff Leach, Candy Noble, Justin Holland, and Keith Bell. Texas House District 2, Bryan Slaton’s former seat, is not represented in this session of the Texas Legislature. The measure passed in the Texas Senate by an 18-10 vote. All three of the senators from the KETR listening area voted in favor of the measure. Those senators include Angela Paxton, Bob Hall, and Bryan Hughes.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.