Recap of the 88th Texas Legislative Session: A Session Out of Balance

Podcast Episode Speakers Headshots

The 2023 legislative session started with a lot of promise. Lawmakers had a historic $33 billion dollar budget surplus, and there was energy and consensus to address a number of public education issues. Instead, lawmakers failed to give Texas public schools enough funding to even keep up with inflation, much less provide teacher pay raises to help stop the exodus of educators from the classroom. They lost efforts to improve our accountability system so that teachers could focus on their students’ learning instead of their performance on standardized tests. They did not pass any policies to help recruit and retain high-quality teachers.

There was one tentative win for public education advocates. Thanks to a bipartisan group of determined House lawmakers who withstood enormous pressure from Gov. Greg Abbott — no private school voucher program passed.

In this episode, hear from Raise Your Hand Texas’ Libby Cohen, Senior Director of Advocacy, Will Holleman, Senior Director of Government Relations, and Bob Popinski, Senior Director of Policy, alongside Georgia Polley, public education advocate from Spring Branch ISD, as they discuss their views on the 88th Legislative Session, and why a victory to stave off vouchers is far from certain, and came at a great cost to Texans.

Read the podcast transcript here.

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