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 […]

House and Senate Set up Key Subcommittees on Education Budget

Continuing our focus on the budget-writing process, which is where most of the early action is under way in the Texas Legislature, today we highlight two new subcommittees that will lead the drafting efforts in the state House and Senate on education funding. In the House, the so-called Article III subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee […]

Texas Senate Committee Okays Bill to Ban Your Voluntary Dues Deduction–Fight Back!

SB 13, the misbegotten bill by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) to take away your right to voluntary payroll deduction of your organizational dues, was passed by Huffman’s Senate State Affairs Committee Thursday. The vote was six to two, with one senator absent. This discriminatory bill would outlaw payroll deduction for some categories of public employees […]

House Budget Writers Signal Readiness to Use Reserve Fund as Intended to Cover Shortfalls

The one must-pass bill in the current legislative session is the budget, which holds the key to equitable and adequate funding of public pre-K/12 and higher education. Now that House committees have been named by Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), the House Appropriations Committee has been quick to start its hearings on the drafting of […]

Anti-Teacher Bill Meets Wall of Opposition from Public Employees and Allies in Texas Senate

Send an online letter to you legislators now! Be connected to your state senator’s office to urge them to vote no on SB 13! Teachers and other education employees were joined today by other groups of public employees in a solid wall of opposition to state legislation that would take away their freedom to have […]

Your Voice: Use It or Lose It!

Write Your Lawmakers Now Here! Be Connected Directly to Your State Senator Here More Facts About HB 510 and SB 13 Here Your voice is crucial to improving public education and the teaching profession. Your voice has helped stop bad ideas to privatize public education through private-school vouchers and take away secure pensions. Frankly, they […]

Stop Taxpayer Money Going to Private Schools

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has put passage of a private-school voucher bill in the mix for his top legislative priorities this session. The key bill on that agenda is SB 3 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), which would create so-called education savings accounts and tuition tax credits to funnel scarce taxpayer dollars to unaccountable private-school […]

Taking a Stand on Controversial Immigration Bill in State Senate

Enforcing U.S. immigration laws is the job of the federal government, not state or local officials, and the feds cannot compel local law-enforcement officers to serve as immigration agents. However, that has not prevented repeated efforts in the Texas Legislature to conscript local police, as a matter of state law, to aid the federal Immigration […]

You Can Help Block a Bad Choice for U.S. Education Secretary–Act Now

Breaking: Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced that they will vote NO on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos. Your senator could cast the vote to block DeVos. On Wednesday, Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) announced that they will vote NO on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for secretary of […]

Governor’s “State of the State” Misses the Mark on School Funding, Vouchers, and Employee Voice

By constitutional design, the Texas governorship is a comparatively weak executive position, with only modest direct authority to govern the state. But one power the governor does have is to designate certain legislation as an emergency item, eligible for early action during the biennial legislative session. And today Gov. Greg Abbott exercised that authority to […]