House accepts stripped-down Senate school-funding bill with TRS-Care cost relief, then shuts down special session

The Texas House voted 94 to 46 this evening to accept a stripped-down Senate version of HB 21 on school funding. The Senate amendments to HB 21 eliminated $1.5 billion of the $1.8 billion in the House-passed version, completely eliminating the main sources of any new aid to cash-strapped urban districts–a proposed increase in the […]

School district ratings reveal continuing trend of charters underperforming traditional public schools

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 15, 2017 CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343 Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro commented today on the release of school accountability ratings by the Texas Education Agency:   We’re pleased to see a decline in the number of districts rated as “Improvement Required,” but it’s also clear that charter schools continue to underperform […]

No Senate Vote on 2018-2019 School Funding; House Vote Pending on Long-Term School-Finance Study; TRS-Care Issue Being Negotiated

The Texas Senate keeps delaying a vote on increased school funding for 2018-2019 and now has recessed until 4 p.m. Monday. It may be just as well that they are still working out their stance, because what’s on the table so far in the Senate is very little. The $311 million senators have included thus far […]

Texas Senate Delays Vote on School Finance–Have Your Say

You have one more day to send your message to the Texas Senate to support a sensible compromise on school finance, because the Senate has delayed action until Sunday evening on the key House bill, HB 21. Send your letter to your state senator now if you have not done so already! These letters matter. Just yesterday Senate […]

Senate panel okays stingy substitute for house school-funding plan–our take

Speaking in “optimistic opposition” today before the Senate Education Committee, Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro testified against a stingy Senate substitute for the substantial, $1.8-billion school-funding bill passed by the Texas House, HB 21. Malfaro noted that committee chair Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) acknowledged there’s room to negotiate up from the meager $311 million in […]

House committee hears testimony on vouchers, performance pay, classroom supply reimbursement; AND TRS benefit news

TRS Benefit Bills Get Final House Okay:  Wednesday morning the House gave final approval to two good bills on TRS benefits. The measures now face an uncertain fate in the Texas Senate, which has been less than welcoming of House initiatives for the benefit of school employees. HB 20 by Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), passed […]

Special Session Opens, and Backers of Public Education Take a Stand—Add Your Voice  

The Texas Legislature today began a special 30-day session called by Gov. Greg Abbott to consider first a must-pass “sunset” bill to continue the existence of several professional licensing boards—and then to take up 20 more items on the governor’s wish list, including many affecting public schools. The governor wants, among other things, to pass […]

Vetoes and Signings by Gov. Abbott

Gov. Greg Abbott on June 15 vetoed a good bill providing for notice to parents when their child’s school lacks full-time staffing by a school nurse or nurses. SB 196 by Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) was a simple measure designed to protect children’s health by enabling parents to anticipate and make arrangements to address gaps […]

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 […]

School Funding Comes to a Vote in Texas House

–School Funding Comes to a Vote in Texas House –Senate Committee Puts Priority on More Money for Charters –State Board of Education Debates Science Standards School Funding Comes to a Vote:  Scheduled for state House floor consideration on Wednesday is HB 21, the bill by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) to revise school-finance formulas and increase […]