The 2017 Special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott began on July 18, 2017.
Click here for an informative article from Texas Tribune on the format of a 30-day Special Session.

Now through Election Day, Tues., 11/7/2017, is when your legislators are MOST attentive to your concerns.
Be sure to let your legislators know your stance on this issue during Special Session this July - August!
Find your legislators here:   Senators Contact Info   |    Representatives Contact Info

This special call call item is in the 2016 RPT Party Platform on p. 12.

RPT Platform Planks 91 & 92
2016 Special Session Call Item:
Planks 91-92. Click to enlarge.

From Special session preview: State and local defunding of the abortion industry by Emily K. Cook (July 5, 2017.

Gov. Greg Abbott's Special Item on Prohibitng Taxpayer dollars from funding abortion providers is also a Republican Platform Item

Planned Parenthood is an organization that is sustained, in part, by public funding from federal, state, and local governments. The abortion giant has nested themselves in an array of taxpayer-funded programs across our country and state. The Hyde Amendment prevents federal funds from directly paying for most elective abortions, but we have seen the funneling of such money to other divisions of Planned Parenthood, which enables the continuation of abortion. The most recent annual report for Planned Parenthood Federation of America for 2015-2016 shows that an astounding 41% of combined revenue for the organization comes from governmental grants and reimbursements.

While Texas began removing funding from the abortion industry in 2011, this goal has only been partially achieved. Each Texas state budget passed since 2011 has banned abortion businesses and their affiliates from an increasing number of state programs. However, as Texas Right to Life has written previously, such a strategy has amounted to a “whack-a-mole” game, not a decisive rule or law to prevent abortion facilities and their affiliates from siphoning any funding from taxpayers.

Thankfully, after several legislative sessions of playing the “whack-a-mole” game, Representatives Drew Springer (R-Muenster) and Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) passed a rule on the state’s budget prohibiting any and all state funds, no matter the program, from being awarded to abortion businesses or their affiliates. This was a considerable victory for the Pro-Life goal of defunding the abortion industry, but the rule now faces the same problem as the federal Hyde Amendment – they both must be renewed with each budget and are not permanent law.

Additionally, the substantial win in the state budget from the regular session does not address the problem of local governments funding the abortion industry or showing preferential treatment to abortion facilities. Austin is just one example. Planned Parenthood leases space from the City of Austin and, in a long-standing agreement, pays only $1 in annual rent. Austin is a notorious offender for pro-abortion advocacy and currently pays a lobbyist to advocate for state funding of Planned Parenthood, so this is not surprising. What is shocking, however, is that no state law prevents local taxpayer dollars from being used to financially assist abortion providers, although such action fundamentally contradicts government’s mission of protecting citizens’ rights to life, liberty, and property. These appalling attempts to benefit abortion businesses are usually secretive, too. City and county budgets are not easily accessible to the public and taxpayers typically are forced to unknowingly prop up these abortion giants.

Governor Greg Abbott has since called a special session beginning July 18, and placed the issue addressed by House Bill 1936 on the call. Representative Springer again plans to lead on this issue in the House while Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) is expected to usher the policy through the Senate. While this measure will not fix all the leaks and current problems with federal law (only U.S. Congress can plug those loopholes), passage of this policy would not only place our state budgetary provisions into Texas law, but would also prevent nefarious city and county governments from benefiting the abortion industry with your tax dollars. For a state committed to Life, continuing to strip abortion businesses and affiliates is common sense and should have been accomplished during the Legislature’s regular business. However, lawmakers now have been given a chance to correct such an oversight before gaveling out at the special session’s conclusion.

Governor Greg Abbott called a special session to begin on July 18th, requiring the Texas Legislature to meet again and address issues left on the table during the regular session because of similar political games.  Many of the reforms on Governor Abbott’s agenda are measures that were passed by the Texas Senate, supported by Texas Republicans, but failed in the Texas House of Representatives.

Click to send letter to Texas Lawmakers encouraging them to support School Choice!

Please Note:

The 2017 Special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott begins on July 18, 2017.  Click here for an informative article from Texas Tribune on the format of a 30-day Special Session.

Now through Election Day on Tues., 11/7/2017, is the time your legislator is MOST attentive to your concerns and issues.
Please click on the Americans for Prosperity's School Choice banner above and easily contact your Texas legislators now!


2015-school-choice-tx-rallyWhen PARENTS CHOOSE, Texas Children WIN!

Brandon Dutcher of OK Council of Public Affairs reports:

"During a past Texas school finance trial...Dr. Jacob Vigdor, an expert witness hired by public school districts...", explicitly stated, “'introducing greater competition into the market for teachers will raise teacher salaries...'”

"Dr. Jacob Vigdor contended that Texas should not adopt school choice because districts would then have to pay teachers more. But his argument supports exactly what quality teachers and concerned Texans desire: using school choice to improve the quality and salaries of teachers."

Mr. Dutcher went on to say:

"Dr. Vigdor’s conclusions regarding higher pay from school choice were never challenged in trial. In fact, several experts confirm his analysis."

From The Missing Link in Texas Education Reform
by Lou Ann Anderson, originally in the Examiner on July 1, 2015.

"Many students are trapped in failing schools. Roughly one in four of today’s ninth-graders never graduate high school...

"Out of those moving forward, almost half of freshmen require remediation courses upon entering college..."

"Employers find today’s college graduates ill prepared for existing white-collar jobs..."

At the start of the [2015] legislative session, Laffer Associates released a study, The Texas Economy and School Choice, jointly commissioned by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Texas Association of Business. The study found that a Taxpayer Savings Grant Program, a statewide universal school choice program under consideration by the Texas Legislature offered important benefits to both Texas school children and the state’s economy.

Economist and report author Art Laffer maintained that besides reducing dropout rates, closing educational achievement gaps and enhancing educational innovation, statewide school choice is a mechanism to stimulate economic growth thereby creating new jobs and incentivizing in-migration to Texas. Using examples like decreased crime rates, increased wages and enhanced business opportunity, Laffer argued not a single socio-economic measure goes unimproved with the implementation of school choice...

At a January news conference, Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond spoke of the Texas workforce facing a skills gap. He contended post-secondary education is essential and the public school system is graduating neither enough students, nor enough who are career or college-ready.

Hammond described this gap as impacting both businesses and Texas school children. He further noted how competition is essential, and competition in schools serves to improve prospects for all involved...

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, co-author with Jared Meyer of Disinherited: How Washington Is Betraying America’s Young, similarly agrees on school choice. At a May book signing in Austin, Furchtgott-Roth called sending children to schools where the graduation rates are only 55 percent “a travesty.”

“With food stamps we say you can go to any grocery store you want,” she offered. “There would be a revolution if we said low-income people have to go to their neighborhood grocery stores, but with schools, you have to go to the neighboring schools...”

Kent Grusendorf, director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Education Freedom:

“Money’s not the problem,” Grusendorf contended, explaining that compared to the ranking’s 36 nations, all but one or two spend less per student than the U.S.

Regarding the Texas school finance lawsuit currently before the Texas Supreme Court, Grusendorf reminded that two-thirds of Texas school districts are “using your tax dollars to sue you for more money.”

School choice, he said, is “the key solution for the education crisis in this state and in this nation.”

Grusendorf cited how empirical studies have found choice improved student performance and public schools. Though isolated studies found no measurable differences, he notes none found school choice as harmful to existing schools.