The governor of Texas called a special session of the legislature, with two goals:

1. To enact a voucher program, despite recent studies agreeing that state voucher programs have negative results.

2. To pass a bill requiring transgender people to use the bathroom aligned with the gender on their birth certificate, which was overwhelmingly condemned by major businesses and is unenforceable (a monitor at every bathroom checking birth certificates?)

The voucher bill was defeated by public opposition, by parents and educators saying that public schools needed funding, not loss of public dollars for religious schools.

The legislature did not pass a plan for equitable funding (the schools have never recovered from the $5 billion cut in 2011). But the legislature did appropriate $60 million in construction funds for the politically connected and academically inferior charter industr.

Here is a comment by Pastors for Texas Children, which helped to defeat Lt.Gov. Dan Patrick’s voucher bill:

“As the special legislative session closes, we express our deep gratitude for the extraordinary leadership of Speaker Joe Straus, Chairman Dan Huberty, and the House of Representatives to advance fair and just policy for our 5.5 million schoolchildren.

“Because of the intransigence of the Texas Senate toward public education, the House was not able to secure significant additional funding our neighborhood schools critically need. But, they did successfully and steadfastly hold the line against private school vouchers – the unjust policy of underwriting private education with public tax dollars.

“The failed leadership we presently have in the Texas Senate with regard to our children’s constitutionally protected public education is unacceptable.

“This special session has been a circus of stubborn wrangling and procedural manipulation. What we have just been through for the past 30 days is beneath the dignity of every respectable Texan. For our elected officials to treat teachers as threats rather than heroes is an astonishing affront to our civil society.

“Teachers are now awake to the concerted attack on their profession and our neighborhood schools. Pastors and community leaders are joining them in defending public education as the foundation of our social order.

“Our only recourse now is to focus our efforts in laser fashion toward electing a legislature in 2018 that believes in public education for all Texas children– a legislature our children deserve.

“We will get through this strange and difficult season and, by God’s grace, find “the better angels of our nature,” as President Lincoln so memorably put it.

“Thank you all for your tremendous advocacy on behalf of our children. We honor you, appreciate you, and hold you, our governor, lieutenant governor and all 181 legislators in our ongoing prayers.”