Ready to work with me in building our union?

By Ray McMurrey Texas AFT Secretary-Treasurer The 2015 Texas AFT Summer Convention buzzed with all the positive energy delegates usually experience. However, this year’s agenda also included the election for Texas AFT president and secretary-treasurer, the two officers that lead our state union. The convention ended with the election of Louis Malfaro as president, and […]


Are we turning a corner?

By Louis Malfaro Texas AFT President We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. —Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th […]


El Paso AFT Wins Voter Support for Big Boost in School Funding

By a four-to-one landslide margin, El Paso ISD voters approved a substantial increase in the district’s operating funds on August 22, and the El Paso AFT local had a lot to do with the outcome. El Paso AFT President Ross Moore and the union membership put school employees at the forefront of a community-wide coalition […]


The Houston 7: Ivan Castillo

This is the second in an ongoing series of profiles on the seven teachers in Houston ISD who are suing the district over the use of its Education Value-Added Assessment System (EVAAS).



Fatal School-Bus Crash in Houston Prompts Calls to Rethink and Retool Safety Policies

A deadly school-bus crash in Houston this week has prompted calls to rethink and retool both state and local bus-safety policies. The accident reportedly occurred when another vehicle veered into the Houston ISD school bus on an elevated roadway and caused it to plunge through a guardrail to the ground below. Two students were killed, […]


Sign the Petition Urging Affordable Health Insurance For Texas School Employees

Petition to State Lawmakers and Leaders (sign below) We ask the Texas Legislature to make immediate and ongoing increases in state funding for active school employees’ health insurance provided through formula aid to school districts. THE PROBLEM: The state’s funding for health insurance has stagnated at $75 per employee per month since 2002, while the […]


New Funding for Tuition Exemption for Educational Aides Seeking Teaching Degree

The two-year budget bill passed by the legislature in May provides $1.5 million for tuition exemptions for educational aides who take courses toward teacher certification in a critical shortage subject area at Texas public institutions of higher education. Funding for this valuable program of need-based exemptions was zeroed out in the budget-slashing session of 2011, […]

From the Legislative Hotline

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Arne Duncan’s Departure as Secretary of Education—AFT Comments

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today he’ll be leaving his post in December. His successor has already been designated—John King Jr. of New York. In a statement on Duncan’s resignation by AFT President Randi Weingarten that can fairly be described as charitable, the AFT leader assesses Duncan’s “mixed legacy” and warns that Mr. King’s history as New York’s top education official … [Read More...]


Protect Social Security Benefits from Unfair Garnishment to Pay Off Student Debt!

Americans used to be able to get a college degree without going into debt. But politicians dismantled that debt-free college system, and the burden is now so heavy that student-loan debt follows people to their graves. Today more than 700,000 people relying on Social Security are still paying their student loans. More than 160,000 Social Security beneficiaries have their monthly Social Security … [Read More...]

Texas Still Rightly Resisting Federal Pressure to Appraise Teachers Based on Students’ Test Scores

The Texas Education Agency has been developing and piloting a new state teacher-evaluation system that gives significant weight to the scores of a teacher’s students on state exams. State Commissioner of Education Michael Williams has said that he expects 85 percent or more of school districts to adopt this state template voluntarily, but he also concedes he lacks the authority under state law to … [Read More...]