Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) recently released a statement on the Texas House's decision to "kill" the controversial "School Choice" Bill.
The bill would allow parents to send their children to schools outside their assigned public school. School choice can take the form of open enrollment policies, magnet schools, and charter schools. For those wanting to attend private schools, the program would provide vouchers.
"Some members who voted against school choice attended private schools themselves or send their kids or grandkids to private schools. Now, they are denying that right to their constituents. If every House Republican or Democrat who has used private schools voted for school choice, it may have passed," said Rep. Patrick.
The lieutenant governor attacked all the Democrats and 21 Republicans who voted against school choice. Among those attacked was Texas Speaker Dade Phelan (R). Lt. Gov. Patrick continued to criticize the bill's opponents and claimed that the funding would not take away money from public schools.
The funding for teacher pay raises also failed to get passed. The bills are not technically tied. However, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) stated that he would not sign a teacher pay raise bill without a school choice bill being passed.
School choice isn't the only legislation that the lieutenant governor has been focused on. Previously, Patrick worked with the Texas Senate in an attempt to pass HB4.
The bill is considered a partisan bill, predominately backed by the GOP. HB4 is primarily focused on the "prohibitions on the illegal entry into or illegal presence in this state by a person who is an alien, the enforcement of those prohibitions, and authorizing the removal of persons who violate certain of those prohibitions in lieu of arrest; creating criminal offenses."
However, if approved, the legislation would have permitted Texas law enforcement officers to detain undocumented immigrants. Moreover, the immigrants could have been charged with a misdemeanor and removed from the state. The bill has since failed to pass the Texas Senate.