The everyday heroes of the hurricanes

Today’s Hotline is a repost of AFT President Randi Weingarten’s column featured in the New York Times and Huffington Post. It highlights the remarkable efforts of our union members in assisting educators impacted by the hurricanes. Alseen Bell’s cell phone rang as she stood in the living room of her flood-ravaged home, surveying the devastation left behind by […]

SBOE planning effort; Children’s health insurance at risk; AND A Texas educator’s take on the fight for immigrant rights

State Board of Education stakes claim as long-term education goal-setter:  The State Board of Education began work Tuesday on a Long-Range Plan for Public Education that would establish core goals for the public schools.  The first meeting of a new 18-member steering committee to advise the SBOE focused on models of long-range plans developed by other states. The committee is […]

Houston support professionals win against private food service company

Members of the Houston Educational Support Personnel, an affiliate of Texas AFT, are celebrating a hard-won victory against privatization in how their school district’s food service program is managed. Last month, the Houston Independent School District cut ties with food contractor Aramark after 20 years. District officials didn’t say why they decided against renewing the contract, but HESP’s […]

House committee hears testimony on vouchers, performance pay, classroom supply reimbursement; AND TRS benefit news

TRS Benefit Bills Get Final House Okay:  Wednesday morning the House gave final approval to two good bills on TRS benefits. The measures now face an uncertain fate in the Texas Senate, which has been less than welcoming of House initiatives for the benefit of school employees. HB 20 by Rep. Trent Ashby (R-Lufkin), passed […]

Bad Bills in Texas Senate on Vouchers, Payroll Deduction Meet Bipartisan Resistance

Over the weekend and on Monday, bad bills in the Texas Senate promoting private-school vouchers and attacking your freedom to use payroll deduction met serious bipartisan resistance from grass-roots Texans. So did other measures, including an unfunded pay-raise proposal that would not deliver a real raise to teachers. Meanwhile, in the Texas House, opposition to […]

Texas AFT convention highlights: Randi Weingarten speaks to the value of community schools in a “toxic” state and national environment

Texas AFT held its biennial convention–with the theme of “Public School Proud”–last weekend in El Paso. The convention included the usual business of electing statewide officers and deciding on resolutions to guide the union in the coming years. (Louis Malfaro was re-elected as president by acclamation, and Ray McMurrey was re-elected as secretary treasurer by acclamation.) The […]

Federal court ruling deals another mammoth blow to the misuse of standardized testing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2017 CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343 Houston ISD’s use of ‘black box’ system for evaluating teachers compared to a ‘house of cards’ Decision follows another legal action nixing state rules on using test scores for teacher evaluations A Thursday ruling in the federal lawsuit filed by the Houston Federation of Teachers […]

Your Voice: Use It or Lose It!

Update! Senate Bill 13 and House Bill 510 would have eliminated payroll deduction to pay union dues for most public employees, including teachers and other school personnel, nurses, correctional officers, child protection workers, and other public-sector workers at the state and local level. Both bills died, but the threat still remains. Learn the facts here.

Bills on payroll deduction for dues target public employees

Two bills filed this session–HB 510 and SB 13–would remove the ability of teachers, CPS workers, correctional officers, and many other public employees to make voluntary payments from their earnings via safe and secure payroll dues deduction to the employee or professional organization of their choice. We will be fighting these bills because: It’s your […]