House and Senate negotiators will have the next two days remaining in the current special legislative session to hammer out their differences on legislation tackling property taxes, school finance and other items still in play.
The Senate Education Committee drastically altered the House's primary piece of school finance legislation Friday but suggested compromise with the House was possible with less than a week left in the special session.
In a letter sent to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Thursday, nearly 1,500 local school superintendents and trustees urged the head of the Senate to support the House's primary piece of school finance legislation, House Bill 21.
In East Texas, 86-year-old Clara Crawford shuttles kids to a summer meal program at the local community center. In the Panhandle, Kay Calvert and a group of volunteers want to revive a similar program in tiny Quitaque.
The Texas House voted Tuesday to use $212 million from the Rainy Day Fund, a savings account largely fed by oil and gas production taxes, to decrease premiums and deductibles for retired teachers in the state-run health insurance program.
The Texas Senate passed a bill that would provide funding for teacher bonuses and retirement benefits, slashing a controversial provision that would require school districts to increase teacher salaries without additional state money.
The Texas Senate Finance Committee approved a bill Saturday that would put one-time influxes of money toward the Teacher Retirement System and teacher bonuses, and require districts to fund $1,000 in teacher pay raises.
The Texas Senate Education Committee passed a bill that would create a "private school choice" program to subsidize private school tuition for kids with special needs, and a bill to study the school finance system.
In what seems to be an overture to the House, Gov. Greg Abbott added two new education-related issues to his special session call Thursday: school finance reform and increased benefits for retired teachers.