State House and Senate Differ on Changes Needed in A-F Rating System for Schools

After 2 a.m. Thursday morning the Texas Senate produced a bill tweaking but not fundamentally fixing the A-F  rating system for public schools slated for its first real use in the coming school year. The A-F grades for schools have been highly controversial in the minority of states where they have been adopted, and the […]

House Emphatically Rejects Senate Voucher “Poison Pill”

The Senate’s attempt to force acceptance of a private-school voucher scheme by inserting it in a House school-finance bill suffered a major setback today. The House voted 134 to 15 against concurrence in the Senate changes to HB 21, the good school-finance bill by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston). Not only that, the House for good […]

Nurse-Staffing Notice for Parents Passed by Texas House

The Texas House has finally passed a long-sought bill to notify parents when their child’s school lacks full-time nurse staffing. The vote on final passage of SB 196 by Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) was 80 to 63. Under a House floor amendment accepted by House author Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), the bill applies to school […]

Message to Texas House: Reject Senate HB 21 Voucher Bill That Kills House School-Funding Plan

HB 21, a good school-finance bill as it left the House, has been turned into a voucher bill by the Texas Senate. Please tell your House member to reject this bill, which has been stripped of most of the House-passed school-funding increase and now has become primarily a vehicle for diverting taxpayer dollars to unaccountable […]

Senate voucher scheme holds school funding hostage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2017 CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343 Texas AFT members urge state reps to reject private-school vouchers that poisoned a crucial school-finance bill A key school-finance bill passed by the Texas House was hijacked last week by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and some members of the Texas Senate intent on passing a […]

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 […]

State of Play at the State Capitol as More Deadlines Arrive

A series of critical deadlines will winnow the list of bills still in play at the state Capitol this weekend as the Legislature heads toward a mandatory adjournment on May 29. Look for Hotline updates over the weekend, as the House meets both Saturday and Sunday and the Senate convenes Sunday evening. One key deadline […]

Voucher Bill Up for a Senate Vote—Write Your Letter in Opposition Now

One week ago Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) suddenly inserted a special-education voucher plan into HB 21, the important bill by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) that would significantly increase school funding. Now Taylor’s Senate substitute for HB 21 could be voted on tomorrow, May 19, by the full Senate and sent back to the House as […]

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 […]