Setting the Record Straight on the Death of a Good School-Finance Bill in Regular Session

A recent, hard-hitting article from Fort Bend ISD board president Kristin Tassin tells how a poison pill administered by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick killed a good school-finance bill, HB 21 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston), in the regular session of the Texas Legislature that ended last month. We reprint Tassin’s widely published article here for […]

Send a Message to the U.S. Education Secretary—Oppose This Cruel and Catastrophic Budget

Please join tens of thousands of AFT members who already have answered the call to speak out against the disastrous education budget proposal from the Donald Trump administration. Send your e-letter now to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos urging her to renounce this retrograde plan. Just look at what the Trump/DeVos budget proposes: While Trump […]

Governor Calls Special Session Starting July 18 With Up to 20 Wish-List Items

  Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday afternoon that he is calling the Texas Legislature back into session on July 18, first and foremost to enact what he termed a must-pass “sunset” bill continuing the existence of the state medical board, but after that to consider 19 other disparate items on his legislative wish list. A […]

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 […]

House Emphatically Rejects Senate Voucher “Poison Pill”

The Senate’s attempt to force acceptance of a private-school voucher scheme by inserting it in a House school-finance bill suffered a major setback today. The House voted 134 to 15 against concurrence in the Senate changes to HB 21, the good school-finance bill by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston). Not only that, the House for good […]

Message to Texas House: Reject Senate HB 21 Voucher Bill That Kills House School-Funding Plan

HB 21, a good school-finance bill as it left the House, has been turned into a voucher bill by the Texas Senate. Please tell your House member to reject this bill, which has been stripped of most of the House-passed school-funding increase and now has become primarily a vehicle for diverting taxpayer dollars to unaccountable […]

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 […]