Special-Education Voucher Alert! Write Your Lawmakers in Opposition

Despite the big House majority vote (103 to 44) against any form of voucher funding in SB 1, the budget bill, two voucher bills will get a hearing on Thursday in the House Public Education Committee.  Both bills—HB 1335 by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) and HB 4193, also by Simmons—focus on special-education students. In other […]

Sign Up to Support the Fair Shot Texas Agenda

Extreme politicians in the Texas Legislature are determined to weaken the power of working people. They’re pushing special interest-backed legislation that would make it harder for working families to make ends meet. We believe everyone deserves a fair shot to get ahead, which is why we’ve joined other labor partners in Texas to form the […]

Special-Ed Vouchers to Get a Hearing; Community Schools Would Gain State Backing under Key Bill

Special-ed Vouchers to Get a Hearing in House Committee:  Despite the big House majority vote (103 to 44) against any form of voucher funding in SB 1, the budget bill, the House Public Education Committee will give a hearing to two voucher bills on Thursday, April 27. Both bills are by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) […]

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 […]

Increased School Aid Wins Overwhelming Vote in Texas House; Senate Names Budget Team; TRS Board Elections

Increased School Aid Wins Overwhelming Vote in Texas House:  The big school-finance bill of the 2017 session,  HB 21 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston), was approved by an overwhelming margin of 134 to 16 Wednesday night after hours of debate on amendments but with no major changes. Texas AFT supported the bill, which would provide […]

Fox Takes Up Residence in Henhouse at Pension Review Board

Josh McGee, a prominent critic of guaranteed retirement benefits for public employees, will now be chairing the State Pension Review Board, thanks to a two-thirds vote in the Texas Senate Thursday. McGee’s appointment by Gov. Greg Abbott was snagged for weeks because of grass-roots opposition that translated into a blocking minority of 11 senators depriving […]

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 […]

House Proposal on Retiree Health Care is an Improvement, But More is Needed

Texas AFT testified Monday on a newly unveiled House proposal to address the funding shortfall for TRS-Care, the state program affording health coverage to retired school employees. HB 3976 by Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin) is a considerable improvement over the Senate plan in SB 788 by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston). Under HB 3976 the deductible […]

School-Finance Bill Due on House Floor Wednesday, with 46 Proposed Amendments

HB 21, the bill by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) to revise school-finance formulas and increase school aid to districts, comes to the House floor Wednesday. Some 46 proposed amendments to the bill have been pre-filed as of 5 p.m. today. Texas AFT supported the bill in committee and supports it as it comes to the […]

Bills on the Move (or Not) in the Texas Legislature

As the Legislature takes a break until Monday for the Easter/Passover holiday, there’s news to report on a number of bills of importance to education employees. With just 46 days left in the 2017 regular session, some major bills are on the move, while some others are not. Educator misconduct:  SB 7, the bill by Sen. […]