State of Play at the State Capitol as More Deadlines Arrive

A series of critical deadlines will winnow the list of bills still in play at the state Capitol this weekend as the Legislature heads toward a mandatory adjournment on May 29. Look for Hotline updates over the weekend, as the House meets both Saturday and Sunday and the Senate convenes Sunday evening. One key deadline […]

House Speaker Fires Back After Lieutenant Governor Threatens to Force Special Session

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, presiding officer of the Texas Senate and self-styled “bold” leader, today threatened to block must-pass bills and force a special session of the Legislature if his own priorities are not enacted before the regular session ends May 29. Patrick devoted a morning press conference to blasting House Speaker Joe Straus for […]

New Push for Special-Ed Vouchers Meets Strong Resistance–Your Help Needed

This morning Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) suddenly inserted a special-education voucher plan into HB 21, the important bill by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) that would significantly increase school funding. Taylor’s surprise substitute for HB 21 needs to be stripped of this voucher “poison pill” transferring public funds to private schools without accountability. Opposition to this […]

Oppose Special-Ed Vouchers–A Bad Bargain for Texas Schoolchildren

Send a letter to your legislators now! Evidence of inferior educational performance by voucher-funded private schools is growing. The latest example is an official study by the U.S. Department of Education, finding that the voucher experiment in the District of Columbia follows the familiar pattern–traditional public schools are doing a better job than the voucher […]

Speak Out Against Special-Ed Vouchers

The House Public Education Committee on Thursday also will hear two special-education voucher bills that deserve our vocal opposition. The bills are HB 1335 and HB 4193 by Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton). HB 1335 would create “education savings account” vouchers; HB 4193 would create “credit account” vouchers. Both bills have the key elements of a voucher, […]

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 […]

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) […]

House Plan for State Budget Coming to a Vote April 6; Other Action at the Capitol

House Plan for State Budget Coming to a Vote April 6:  The House is scheduled to vote on its version of the 2018-19 budget bill, SB 1, on April 6. Also set to be voted on that day is the supplemental spending bill for fiscal 2017, HB 2. Pre-filing of amendments to the budget bills […]

Special Education Survey Highlights the Harmful Results of Underfunding Our Schools

Thanks to all of you who took the time to take our survey on Special Education services. We published the results of the survey in a news release to media today. The survey received considerable coverage in a Houston Chronicle article in which TEA Commissioner Mike Morath repeats his pledge to end a “Texas Education Agency policy that has […]

Special Education survey reveals yet another example of how Texas is underfunding services to our most vulnerable children.

A Texas AFT statewide survey of Texas educators and parents highlights the barriers to Special Education services that many schoolchildren confront because school districts often lack the resources for evaluating and providing these students with the necessary educational services to which they are entitled by law.