Key Education Committees in Texas House

With their new rosters in place, the House Public Education Committee and House Higher Education Committee have slated their first meetings of the 2017 session for Tuesday and Wednesday next week, respectively. Texas AFT will keep close tabs on both as bills of interest to our members come up before these two legislative panels. Here’s […]

Speaking Up for Funding for Higher Education

Marathon hearings on funding for higher education have been under way in the state Senate Finance Committee Wednesday and Thursday. Texas AFT and allies in these hearings are making the case for key programs that enhance educational opportunities in both preK-12 and higher education. A highlight of Wednesday evening’s testimony came when representatives of the […]

AFT Scholarships Available

The AFT Porter Scholars Program is now accepting applications for 2017. The program offers two great opportunities for AFT members and their dependents. There is a one-time grant being awarded to ten members in the amount of $1,000 each; also available are four $8,000 scholarships for high school seniors who are dependents of active members […]

Student debt clinics help members reduce loan payments

The message is getting through: There are better ways to pay off your student debt. According to new numbers from the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 5.3 million people are lowering their monthly student loan payments through income-based repayment plans—a 36 percent increase since last year, and a 110 percent increase since 2014. Public service […]

Texas AFT Promotes College Funding, Scholarships for Educational Aides in State Budget Hearings

In recent testimony on state agencies’ budget requests, Texas AFT’s Government Relations team has seized the chance to urge investments in community colleges and in college scholarships for paraprofessionals seeking teaching degrees.  The testimony was delivered at joint hearings of the Legislative Budget Board staff and the staff of the Governor’s Budget Office. These hearings […]

Hot Topics: Hearings on Education, Labor, Revenue

Hot Topics:  Hearings on Education, Labor, Revenue Texas AFT’s government-relations team will be working overtime next week as state lawmakers convene in Austin for a spate of hearings on education, labor, and revenue topics. The legislative hearings will overlap with a week-long series of State Board of Education meetings in the capital city as well. […]

Multi-Factor University of Texas Admission Policy Upheld; Court Deadlocks in Immigration Case

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, today welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s four-to-three decision upholding the admissions policy of the University of Texas against a constitutional challenge. Weingarten said: “The AFT, as the nation’s largest union of faculty and a longtime champion of racial equity, joins with our allies in celebrating the […]

Summer Action at the State Capitol Affecting Education

Notable legislative hearings and agency board meetings for the summer include: June 21:  One clear theme of today’s House Higher Education Committee was the legislature’s continuing quest for cost-conscious ways to increase college attendance and completion, especially in educational settings such as community colleges and programs leading to technical certification. One variation on that theme […]

Rising Cost of College Tuition and Student Debt in Texas—the Rest of the Story

This week Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick held a press conference to decry rising costs of public higher education for Texas families since the Legislature delegated tuition-setting authority to the universities and colleges nearly 15 years ago. Patrick spotlighted data showing tuition and fees have gone up 147 percent since 2002 while median household income […]

At Issue: Graduation Standards, Teacher Shortages

The Texas Senate’s committees on education and higher education met jointly March 29 to look at the effects of recent changes in state graduation requirements and options for addressing teacher shortages in fields such as bilingual and special education. At the urging of parents, educators, and a concerned public at large, the Texas legislature has […]