Abbott, a Catholic, has made the school choice provision a legislative priority, saying in a proclamation earlier this month that he had reached an agreement with Texas House leadership to create a $10,400 per year ESA for participating students.
Jennifer Allmon, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops (TCCB), which advocates for policy in the state on behalf of the bishops, said in a statement to CNA that H.B. 1 will now return to committee, making it challenging to pass during the governor’s special session. She noted that this could mean the loss not only of the potential school choice benefits but also other provisions of the bill such as teacher pay raises and school safety upgrades.
The vote against the school choice provision of the bill was disappointing, but “the issue is not over yet,” Allmon said.