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Texas Lawmakers Wrangle a Herd of Education Bills
By Andrew Ujifusa
For those seeking a state legislature weighing a raft of major policy overhauls, it might be hard to beat Texas, where, by the scheduled end of the session on June 1, there could be a private school choice program for the first time, along with a new state-run school district, and revamped teacher evaluations.
Part of what's driving the rush of bills, even in a legislature that only meets every two years, is the slate of new Republican elected officials brought to power by last year's elections. For example, first-year Gov. Greg Abbott has made it a top priority to expand early-education options. And Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the former head of the Senate education committee who was elected separately last year, is exerting significant influence in pushing the GOP-controlled legislature to expand school choice.