The Week Ahead at the Capitol: Budget, Charter Schools, and More

The state budget takes center stage at the Capitol in Austin during the week ahead. The Senate is expected to vote March 28 on its budget bill, SB 1. This bill leaves much to be desired. It will cut higher education significantly–as much as 10 percent at some institutions of higher learning. For public schools […]

School Finance, Pension Hazard, Educator Misconduct

School Finance:  HB 21, the new school-finance bill filed by House Public Education Committee chair Dan Huberty (R-Houston), is drawing broad support from groups that often have been at odds over the allocation of school funding. Groups representing high-wealth and low-wealth school districts alike endorsed Huberty’s proposal for an increase of $1.6 billion in state […]

Bills to Crack Down on Educators’ Misconduct with Students Need Careful Drafting

SB 7 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) and SB 653 by Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) are bills that would strengthen and expand the reach of penalties for inappropriate relationships maintained by educators and other education employees with student in Texas public schools. The bills have been inspired by recent news reports of increased incidence of […]

Texas Teacher of the Year Nominations Open

Have a co-worker that you think is an inspirational and effective teacher? The Texas Association of School Administrators has opened nominations for the 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year program. All Texas public school districts may submit nominations of eligible teachers to their respective Regional Education Service Centers by June 7, 2017. (You may recall […]

Anti-Teacher Bill Meets Wall of Opposition from Public Employees and Allies in Texas Senate

Send an online letter to you legislators now! Be connected to your state senator’s office to urge them to vote no on SB 13! Teachers and other education employees were joined today by other groups of public employees in a solid wall of opposition to state legislation that would take away their freedom to have […]

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.

Texas Teacher of the Year for 2017 is Education Austin Member Allison Ashley

The 2017 Texas Teacher of the Year is Allison Ashley, a member of Texas AFT’s Austin ISD affiliate, Education Austin. Ashley teaches bilingual education at the school district’s Becker Elementary campus. The statewide teaching award was bestowed on her at a ceremony held in Austin today, making her the official Texas entrant in the competition […]

Repetition Compulsion? Federal Educator-Prep Rules Reflect Testing Obsession

Federal bureaucrats fighting a rear-guard action in defense of their discredited obsession with standardized testing may be exhibiting the symptoms of what Sigmund Freud called a “repetition compulsion”—a  compulsion to put oneself in situations where a past trauma is likely to repeat itself. Judging educators by the standardized test results of their students is a […]

The Teacher Pay Penalty

  A new report published today by the Economic Policy Institute bears a title that telegraphs its message: “The teacher pay gap is wider than ever.” Translation: “In 2015, public school teachers’ weekly wages were 17.0 percent lower than those of comparable workers—compared with just 1.8 percent lower in 1994. This erosion of relative teacher […]

Certification Board Proposes Higher Standards for Educator Preparation

On August 5 the State Board for Educator Certification took notable action to raise standards for educator preparation. SBEC members approved a rule proposal to create a new, tiered licensure model for teacher candidates employed as a paid teacher of record while completing their educator preparation program’s requirements. The proposal also calls for more support […]