November 11 Membership Meeting
Join us for the membership meeting on Wednesday, November 11 at 1:30 p.m. We will be providing post-election analysis as well as making some plans for 2021.
While votes are still being counted in the Presidential election, Tuesday night’s results give us a complete picture of what we can expect in the Texas Legislature in 2021.

Turnout in this election was record setting in Texas, and a common rule of thumb is that high voter turnout tends to call for a change in current leadership. But in Texas in 2020, nothing could be further from the truth.  

Statewide elections in Texas continued to be won by Republican candidates. Democrats picked up an additional seat in the Texas Senate. In the Texas House, the two parties traded two seats, but the overall party breakdown of 83 Republicans and 67 Democrats remains unchanged.

All that is said with the caveat that this analysis is based on unofficial election results, and there could be some results that change in a few of the races with close margins.
Phelan to serve as Speaker of Texas House
There were many prognosticators that predicted the Texas House would flip and see a majority of Democrats elected. That didn’t happen. And with Republicans maintaining control of the House, a Speaker will be elected from within their ranks. Chairman Dade Phelan (R-Port Neches) announced today that he has secured commitments from enough House members to be elected Speaker one the House convenes in January. Phelan served as Chairman of the House Committee on State Affairs in 2019. The list his supporters will be released later today.

Once all the dust settled, we can see that the Democrats maintained 11 of the 12 seats they claimed in 2018, and they picked up one additional seat, with Ann Johnson (D-Houston) defeating incumbent Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston). Republicans picked up a new seat as well, completing the even trade when Mike Schofield (R-Katy) reclaimed the seat he lost two years ago when Rep. Gina Calanni (D-Katy) defeated him in 2018.

In addition to the two House members mentioned above, there were 14 other individuals newly elected to the Texas House, due to either retirements or defeats in the Primary Election earlier this year. That means we will have half the amount of freshman members in the House this January than we saw in the previous three legislative sessions. The fact that only two sitting House members in the 150-member body lost their seats in the November election is quite different from the much higher turnover rates we have seen in recent previous election cycles.

Senate adds two new members
Eleven incumbent members of the Texas Senate were re-elected to four-year terms by wide margins, and two new Senators were elected: Rep. César Blanco (D-El Paso) was elected to fill the seat occupied by retiring Senator Jose Rodriguez, and Rep. Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio), who defeated incumbent Senator Peter Flores, and thereby changed the make-up of the Texas Senate to be 18 Republicans and 13 Democrats. However, it should be noted that at the time of this report was written, Rep. Gutierrez led Senator Flores by 10,000 votes, with some votes still being counted.

The Senate has one more seat to be filled through a special election in December to replace Senator Pat Fallon (R-Prosper), who was elected to Congress yesterday. Both candidates—Rep. Drew Springer and Shelly Luther-- vying for that seat are Republican, so it will not affect party break-down in the Senate.

State Board of Education
The State Board of Education will have a different party break-down than before because Democrat Rebecca Bell-Metereau defeated Republican Lani Popp for what was a seat previously held by Republican Ken Mercer. That means that in 2021, the 15-member SBOE will seat nine Republicans and six Democrats.
School District Elections
To our knowledge, there were 12 districts statewide that proposed Voter Approval Tax Rate Elections (VATRE) this year. Among that 12, five districts received approval from their voters and seven did not.  Coalition member Arlington ISD received that approval by a margin of 174 votes (out of 115,290), so that approval is tentative until all votes are counted. Let that be a lesson to all of us that every vote counts!

Bond election results are still forthcoming. Some districts received approval from voters for bonds with very high dollar amounts, and other referendums failed. All in all, it seems like many districts saw propositions approved, but support was not as widespread as in previous elections.

Member Resources
Texans for Local Schools
Texans for Local Schools is the grassroots community network of the Texas School Coalition. While the Coalition is an organization of member school districts, and we will provide information and resources specific to school districts, Texans for Local Schools is designed for members of your community.

The website itself,, is developed to provide information and resources for community members, and interested individuals can sign up to receive email communications during the legislative session when important developments occur. This is information you may want to consider passing along to your local PTA/PTO organizations in your district or other community groups who may have interest.
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