Support SB 1968 & HB 4537

SB 1968
by Senator Bettencourt

Senators Lucio & Campbell

& companion bill

HB 4537
by Representative Middleton

Reps. Paul & Oliverson

Contact legislators to support this bill

“Relating to the establishment of the Family Educational Relief Program and an insurance premium tax credit for contributions made for purposes of that program.”

SB 1968 has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Education, and HB 4537 has been assigned to the House Committee on Public Education.

SB 1968 was heard in the Senate Education Committee on Thursday, May 6th.
It passed out of the Education Committee by a vote of 7-3 on Monday, May 10th.
Next SB 1968 goes to the Senate floor for a vote.

If passed by the Senate, SB 1968 will be sent to the House for a committee hearing. There are many steps once it reaches the House where it may be allowed to stall, such as awaiting a hearing in committee, waiting to be voted out of committee, or in Calendars. Unless the Speaker and members of the House hear from many voters asking them to pass it, it could stall permanently.

HB 4537 has never been given a hearing by the Public Education Committee.

Please contact the:

Lt. Governor
Speaker of the House

Urge them to support and move SB 1968 expeditiously through the Senate and House.

Then please contact Speaker Dade Phelan and the Members of the House Public Education Committee

Urge them to hear and pass SB 1968 without delay when it comes over from the Senate.

“PURPOSE.  The purpose of the Family Educational Relief Program is to provide children from low-income households with additional educational options in order to achieve a general diffusion of knowledge.”

  • Unlocks new education opportunities to better meet the needs of students of low income families
  • Any student who qualifies for the free or reduced-price lunch program at their public school is eligible to participate in this program
  • Enables students in public schools which are failing or do not meet their needs to transfer to schools in this program, such as private or charter schools
  • Provides education accounts for low income families through grants, donations, and scholarships
  • Creates an innovative program for funding school options via insurance premium tax credits
  • Does not touch the permanent school fund or any federal funding sources going to public schools
  • This program will begin to save the state money within two years
  • Participation is optional for both education providers and families
  • There are clear safeguards in place to protect the privacy, autonomy and religious freedom of participants
  • The State Comptroller has been put in charge of administering this program, rather than the TEA or an appointed commissioner
  • This bill is endorsed by the Texas Home School Coalition, Texas Private Schools Association, and the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. This bill also has the support of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, American Federation of Children, Families Empowered, EdChoice and Liberty Action Texas.

To learn more about how the Family Educational Relief Program would work, see these articles:

SB 1968/HB 4537 Bill Analysis by TPPF staff:

PARKER: Is Texas Legislature Closer to Passing More School Choice Than Ever Before?

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