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 […]

Pre-Filing of Bills for 2017 Legislative Session Has Begun

Monday, November 14, marked the opening of bill filing for the 2017 legislative session that starts January 10. Education-related measures make up a high percentage of the 500 or so bills already pre-filed this week. Pre-filed bills address many perennial issues and some hot new topics. In the latter category we note these, for example: […]

Vouchers and More on State Senate’s Agenda for Upcoming Hearings

The Texas Senate Education Committee has added three more hearings to its interim agenda.  On August 16, the committee will hold a hearing on governance policies for school boards. Training for board members will be one focal point, especially as it relates to policies affecting schools rated low-performing. The committee also will consider the current […]

Besides a Disappointing Budget, Session Produced a Mixed Bag on Education Policy

Previous Hotline messages have covered the disappointing two-year budget plan adopted by the legislature, which doesn’t increase aid to school districts enough to maintain their per-pupil funding in terms of real, inflation-adjusted purchasing power. The next step for the budget before it goes to the governor is required certification by the comptroller that the state […]

Small-Scale Pre-K Expansion Bill Passes in State Senate

The Texas Senate on Thursday passed a small-scale pre-K expansion bill with amendments including a cap on the amount of grant funding it can provide. The bill does not attempt to meet the growing demand for full-day pre-K; in fact, it expresses no preference for full-day over half-day pre-K. Nor does it provide for class-size […]

Budget Amendments Up for Debate in House Would Ban Voucher Funding, Expand Pre-K, and More

Among more than 350 amendments to the House budget bill, HB 1, that were pre-filed over the weekend are some that would substantially improve the bill. Two by Rep. Abel Herrero (D-Corpus Christi), would ban any state spending to implement private-school vouchers, either directly or indirectly (through tax credits). Others by Reps. Eric Johnson (D-Dallas), […]

Pre-K Bill, Approved in Committee, Would Not Provide Full-Day Program

The House Public Education Committee has approved HB 4 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Humble), which would boost funding for pre-K modestly but would not provide for the full-day pre-K programs for all eligible students backed by Texas AFT and many allies. Though the bill would authorize upwards of $100 million to be spent on pre-K […]

Texas AFT Backs Full-Day Pre-K Expansion in Texas House Hearing

The state House Public Education Committee at its Tuesday meeting heard strong testimony in support of full-day pre-K from Texas AFT and many other early-childhood-education advocates, including Montserrat Garibay, vice-president of our Education Austin affiliate in Austin ISD. Texas AFT legislative spokesman Ted Melina Raab testified in favor of moving further and faster in the […]