Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Vouchers defeated in Texas

Dr. James Leininger's pet voucher project went down in flames on the floor of the Texas House last night in what was one of the most entertaining, exciting couple of legislative hours one could ever hope for.

And I am proud to say that a dozen or so Republicans made the victory for public education possible. I'll make an update to this post later and name them, because they are remarkable people who will undoubtedly face primary challenges solely on the basis of last night's stand. They were all profiles in courage.

The article from the AP is here.

The video of the debate and the dramatics is here (click on May 23, 1:00-11:44 pm), though you need to fast forward a bit to see the good stuff. Below is a log of the times at which various events transpired, courtesy of the always excellent Quorum Report:

Debate "for" and "against" pilot voucher measure.

For those who missed last night’s floor debate on vouchers, here are the time markers on the archive video for the relevant highlights of last night’s debate:

Rep. Kent Grusendorf lays out Senate Bill 422 on second reading, 4:10:32

Former Superintendent Rep. Bob Griggs, a floor leader against vouchers, challenges Grusendorf on the lack of accountability on the voucher amendment, followed by questions from former State Board of Education Member Rep. Alma Allen and Rep. Pat Haggerty, 4:24:00

Rep. Scott Hochberg offers amendment to strip out everything but the temporary sunset measure, which shows the House’s true division on the issue, 5:20:00

Former teacher Rep. Carter Casteel talks about who she represents in the voucher debate, offers first amendment to strip vouchers, which fails to pass, includes back-and-forth for and against vouchers, 6:24:00

Rep. Charlie Geren offers up surprise amendment to swap districts out in program that eventually passes, 8:24:00, and takes private schools out of bill, which also passes, 8:38:00

Rep. Sefronia Thompson grabs the microphone to call a point of order on the entire calendar, just as Grusendorf calls for a delay, 8:58:05

Speaker of the House Tom Craddick announces he will sustain one of Dunnam’s seven points of order 9:05:40


Blogger P.M. Prescott said...

I am glad Texas chose not to go down this road. We fought it for eight years in New Mexico under Gary Johnson.
I don't know how all this testing is working for you, but for us the months of Feb & March are a total waste. It would be nice if the politicians would just let us teach.

8:14 PM  
Blogger NYC Educator said...

I'm very happy to see progress made in Texas. Here in NY, we hear a lot of bad things about teaching conditions there.

After learning the truth of the "Texas miracle" I'm continually amazed that Rod Paige not only avoided prison, but got a huge promotion.

6:45 AM  

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