Budget Deal, Voucher Vote, Bathroom Bill

–First Look at a State Budget Deal –Voucher Bill on Senate Agenda for Vote Sunday Evening –Transgender “Bathroom” Bill Returning as an Amendment? First Look at a State Budget Deal:  A House-Senate conference committee on the state budget bill for the next two fiscal years came to an agreement at 1 a.m. Saturday night. Final […]

House Speaker Fires Back After Lieutenant Governor Threatens to Force Special Session

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, presiding officer of the Texas Senate and self-styled “bold” leader, today threatened to block must-pass bills and force a special session of the Legislature if his own priorities are not enacted before the regular session ends May 29. Patrick devoted a morning press conference to blasting House Speaker Joe Straus for […]

Fund Our Schools: The Kids Are Worth It!

Improvements in funding for education and other children’s services have been proposed in the current legislative session, but the education budget remains unresolved as lawmakers work toward a May 29 adjournment. The issue right now is in the hands of ten House-Senate negotiators. They and their colleagues in both chambers need to hear a message […]

Cutting Business Taxes at Expense of Education

Another bad idea set for floor action Thursday in the House is HB 28, the bill to cut business franchise taxes that schools depend on to fulfill state obligations for public education. This measure by Rep. Dennis Bonnen (R-Angleton) would subtract $1.53 billion from state coffers in 2018-19, at the very time we are told […]

State Board Approves Evidence-Based Science Standards; Legislative News on Charters, the Budget and More

State Board Approves Evidence-Based Science Standards:  For the first time in years, state standards for science instruction will be free of loaded language inserted to promote a creationist critique of the science behind the theory of evolution. That’s the upshot of a debate and vote at the State Board of Education this week, in which […]

Increased School Aid Wins Overwhelming Vote in Texas House; Senate Names Budget Team; TRS Board Elections

Increased School Aid Wins Overwhelming Vote in Texas House:  The big school-finance bill of the 2017 session,  HB 21 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston), was approved by an overwhelming margin of 134 to 16 Wednesday night after hours of debate on amendments but with no major changes. Texas AFT supported the bill, which would provide […]

Bills on the Move (or Not) in the Texas Legislature

As the Legislature takes a break until Monday for the Easter/Passover holiday, there’s news to report on a number of bills of importance to education employees. With just 46 days left in the 2017 regular session, some major bills are on the move, while some others are not. Educator misconduct:  SB 7, the bill by Sen. […]

Coming Up in the Texas Legislature the Week of April 10

Now that the House has passed its own version of the state budget in place of the Senate’s in SB 1, time-honored ritual requires the Senate to reject the House effort, triggering appointment of a conference committee to iron out the differences. Though news reports have emphasized differences between the two versions that are many […]