BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called for a historic fourth special session, with the possibility of an unprecedented fifth session looming if necessary. The governor outlined his priorities in a proclamation issued on Tuesday, as the fourth special session began at 5:00 PM. that afternoon.
The session’s agenda includes objectives, such as increasing funding for strategic border barriers and enforcing immigration laws the governor says the federal government has failed to uphold. The session also addresses the issue of illegal re-entry, proposing penalties of up to 20 years in prison.
Another key focus for Governor Abbott has been improving school choice for families, making primary and secondary of education more accessible through education savings account programs, teacher compensation, public school finance, special education support, grant programs, reading instruction, and early childhood education. Virtual education and public school accountability are also part of the educational agenda.
The House and Senate have been debating issues like vouchers, public school funding, and teacher pay raises, but finding common ground on public education funding remains a challenge. Representative Raney emphasized the importance of not undermining public education while considering alternative approaches to addressing these concerns.
“Four times is a lot, and it costs. That doesn’t seem very economical to me or conservative to me, to us to continue to go back for the same subject matter with very little guidance.,” said Raney.
“I’m just concerned about making sure that we don’t damage public education because we’re not gonna be able to send everybody to a private school. It’s just not gonna happen. So let’s work on funding teacher’s pay where we can get good teachers. Right now, we’re having fewer students graduate from college with education degrees than we’ve had in previous years, and we still have a real need for educators,” said Raney.
Raney says heading into what he hopes is the last special session it’s time for a different approach.
“I would like to divide that into what we’re going to do for funding public education and then take up the vouchers in a separate bill. I don’t think they need to be tied together and that’s what the governor would like to do, I believe,” said Raney.