After a marathon debate, the Texas House passed its budget on Thursday night, deciding how to invest taxpayer money for the next two years. The main takeaway is that more funds should be allocated to education.
The budget was written to revive the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on public education.
State Rep. Terry Wilson, R-Marble Falls, said, “The Committee Substitute to Senate Bill 1 demonstrates our commitment to education and prioritizes ensuring quality education for all of our children, while also discussing the negative impact of COVID-19 on both public and higher education.”
The House approved an amendment to send approximately $18 billion in federal aid directly to education to prepare the state for when that money arrives and which places it can help.
“With the first round of federal funding, we were able to replace state funds with that money. State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, said, “We want to make sure it doesn’t happen this time.”
“It goes through TEA (Texas Education Agency), but it will go to the colleges, no matter what,” Rodriguez said.
A measure to prohibit public funds from being used to pay for private schools was also accepted by the chamber.
Budget amendments in the House provided funding for the state’s “Alternatives to Abortions” initiative as well as bulletproof glass for state trooper vehicles.