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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nurse-Staffing Notification Bill Moving Forward

The Senate also this afternoon passed SB 196 by Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston), a bill requiring parents to be notified when their child’s school lacks full-time nurse staffing. For good measure, the bill extends the same requirement to schools that lack full-time counselor or librarian staffing. The bill met with opposition on the floor from […]

Three Good Bills in Senate Education Committee

Two late but welcome additions to the committee agenda for Tuesday are SB 463 by Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) and SB 1854 by Sen. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio). The Seliger bill would make permanent last session’s temporary program allowing students to graduate without having to pass up to two state end-of-course assessments, as long as […]

Forward Motion on Two Issues in the Legislature: School-Nurse Staffing; Community Schools

We are pleased to report  the forward movement of two good bills in the Texas Senate, one on notice to parents when their child’s school lacks full-time nurse staffing, the other on state support for the community-school approach to improving student achievement. Both bills have the strong backing of Texas AFT along with allied parent, […]

Bill on School Nurse-Staffing Notification to Parents Passes in Senate Education Committee

SB 69 by Sen. Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) is a health and safety measure that would require school districts to notify parents when their child’s school lacks the full-time presence of a school nurse. The bill, a longtime priority of the Texas AFT School Nurse Task Force, was passed with just one nay vote in the […]

As Hearings Proliferate, Texas AFT Backs Important Bills

While big hearings on pre-kindergarten expansion, A-F school ratings, and full-time, online instruction via “virtual vouchers” engaged our attention this week, Texas AFT’s legislative team also took part in hearings on other important issues and took a stand on other key bills. Examples include: –Senate Education Committee:  Texas AFT supported SB 13, a bill by […]

Texas Public Education at a Crossroads, Part Two

Our last Hotline outlined the comprehensive attack on public schools embodied in many bills already filed in the 2015 legislature. That attack underwritten by moneyed interests has three basic elements:  underfunding; then declaring failure based on misuse of test scores; and ultimately privatizing and deprofessionalizing public education. But there’s an alternative, positive agenda worth fighting […]