From the Legislative Hotline


Community-Schools Strategy Gaining Support

November 20 was a national day of action in support of community schools as an effective strategy for school improvement and an effective alternative to failed test-and-punish accountability policies. In Texas, community-school advocates including our Texas AFT affiliates in Houston ISD, Dallas ISD, and Austin ISD took part in the advocacy campaign. The marquee event of the day in Texas was a … [Read More...]

State Board of Education Adopts Textbooks: Some Flaws Fixed, Others Not

The State Board of Education by a split vote approved a batch of social-studies textbooks submitted by publishers after much debate and testimony pro and con. Some significant improvements were made on certain topics; for instance, the salience of conflict over slavery as a cause of the Civil War was clarified, and passages in some texts obscuring the strong scientific consensus on human activity … [Read More...]

TRS Pension Fund in Good Shape; Retiree and Active Employees’ Health Plans Need More State Aid

Trustees of the Texas Teacher Retirement System received a positive report from independent actuaries this week on the financial condition of the TRS pension fund. The pension trust fund earned an annual return of 16.8 percent and ended the 2014 fiscal year at a market value of $132.8 billion, up from $117.4 billion a year earlier. The fund’s actuarial soundness stems not only from such robust … [Read More...]