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.) […]

Texas Senate Sets 16 Bills for Monday Votes, Including Vouchers and Ban on Payroll Deduction

After a long weekend of rapid-fire hearings on a mostly awful array of bills, the Senate floor-vote calendar for Monday, July 24, lists 16 items of legislation, including private-school vouchers and a ban on payroll deduction for teachers and other public employees. The next Hotline will catch you up on the weekend hearings, especially the […]

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 […]