Stop the U.S. Senate’s Stealth Attack on Health Care

While the details of the U.S. Senate bill are being hidden as if they were state secrets, one thing is clear: Working families will lose if the bill passes. Like the House AHCA, the Senate plan strips health care from 23 million Americans. The secret Senate plan strips access to care and opens the cost […]

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 […]

Survey Question: How Would Proposed Federal Funding Cuts Affect Your School?

AFT President Randi Weingarten has a question for you:  How would your school and your community fare under the budget cuts in education proposed by President Trump? Some context:  The 2018 budget proposed by President Trump and Secretary DeVos is manifestly cruel to kids. It is catastrophic to the public schools our most vulnerable and at-risk students […]

Notable Bills Signed by the Governor

Gov. Greg Abbott has until Sunday, June 18, to sign bills from the regular session into law, let them take effect without his signature, or veto them. Thus far since the session ended May 29 he has vetoed only a handful of line items within the state’s two-year budget bill for 2018-19, SB 1. Meanwhile […]

Setting the Record Straight on the Death of a Good School-Finance Bill in Regular Session

A recent, hard-hitting article from Fort Bend ISD board president Kristin Tassin tells how a poison pill administered by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick killed a good school-finance bill, HB 21 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston), in the regular session of the Texas Legislature that ended last month. We reprint Tassin’s widely published article here for […]

Trump Administration Takes Backward Stance on Public Education Funding, Policy

While we have been fighting anti-public-school proposals in the Texas Legislature, there’s mischief afoot in the nation’s capital that demands our attention as well. President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have proposed an education budget that makes it clear they are out to get public education. In their quest to disinvest in public […]

Changes Coming in TRS-Care Health-Plan Options for Retired School Employees

Under HB 3976 as passed last month by the Texas Legislature, significant changes will occur next year in the health-care options available to TRS retirees. The governor has not yet acted on HB 3976, but on June 2 the Teacher Retirement System of Texas trustees went ahead and adopted new premium rates and benefits for […]

Governor Calls Special Session Starting July 18 With Up to 20 Wish-List Items

  Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday afternoon that he is calling the Texas Legislature back into session on July 18, first and foremost to enact what he termed a must-pass “sunset” bill continuing the existence of the state medical board, but after that to consider 19 other disparate items on his legislative wish list. A […]

Taking Note of Progress on Some Education Issues

While impasses engineered by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on school finance and other matters dominated the headlines, the legislative session just ended did see some little-noted progress on other issues of importance to parents and education employees. For example: Special education—SB 1398 by Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) and Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) will scale […]

Interactive Map Reveal Trump’s Devastating Budget Cuts

We all know that the Trump budget includes devastating cuts to public education, healthcare and public services. With the AFT’s new interactive map, you can easily see exactly how much funding each state can expect to lose in all three areas. For Texas, the losses are particularly sobering. For example, our state would lose $106 […]