No Senate Vote on 2018-2019 School Funding; House Vote Pending on Long-Term School-Finance Study; TRS-Care Issue Being Negotiated

The Texas Senate keeps delaying a vote on increased school funding for 2018-2019 and now has recessed until 4 p.m. Monday. It may be just as well that they are still working out their stance, because what’s on the table so far in the Senate is very little. The $311 million senators have included thus far […]

House action: clean sweep for school funding; committee rejects vouchers

It was a clean sweep in the Texas House today for three key bills on school funding: HB 21 to increase school aid; HB 30 to pay for the increase; and HB 23 to provide for autism grants within the public schools. All passed easily on second reading, with the first two garnering 131 and […]

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 […]

Coming Up at the State Capitol: Vouchers in House Committee, School Funding on House Floor

The House Calendars Committee meets Sunday, July 30, to set the House floor schedule of bills to be voted on next week, but we already have some idea of what to expect both in committee action and on the floor. (The Senate in the meantime may not do much further business until late next week.) […]

Funding Bill for School-Finance Increases Advancing in House

The House Appropriations Committee voted 22 to 0 today for HB 30 by Rep. John Zerwas (R-Richmond), a bill that would fund school-finance improvements to the tune of $1.9 billion for the coming fiscal 2018-2019 budget period beginning on September 1. The funding bill has strong bipartisan support, as evidenced by that unanimous committee vote. […]

Shifting Momentum at the State Capitol

Some lessons are emerging from the first, Senate-dominated week of the current special legislative session at the state Capitol. Number one:  Strong-arm tactics will only get the governor and lieutenant governor so far. Number two: Counter-pressure works, especially coming from rank-and-file education employees and retirees and friends of public education. Certainly Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick […]

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 […]

State Senate’s Assault on Public Education Intensifies—Get Ready

After a stumbling start on July 18, the assault on public education led by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is gathering momentum in the Texas Senate where he presides. At midnight tonight, Patrick expects to complete action on the one must-pass bill of the special session and then, with the help of an expansion of the […]

Lieutenant Governor’s Proposals on School Finance, Teacher Pay Don’t Add Up

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced today a batch of proposals for the special session that he claimed would improve teacher pay and benefits while improving school funding. He spoke of how important teachers are and said he wanted to see average teacher pay go up by $8,000, wanted teachers to receive “longevity bonuses” of $600 […]