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 […]

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 […]

Special Session Opens, and Backers of Public Education Take a Stand—Add Your Voice  

The Texas Legislature today began a special 30-day session called by Gov. Greg Abbott to consider first a must-pass “sunset” bill to continue the existence of several professional licensing boards—and then to take up 20 more items on the governor’s wish list, including many affecting public schools. The governor wants, among other things, to pass […]

Temperature Rising as Educators, Parents Rally for Public Schools on Eve of Special Session

Lt. Gov Dan Patrick and his enabler, Gov. Greg Abbott, are cranking up the rhetorical heat on state legislators to pass a passel of bad ol’ bills in the special session commencing tomorrow, July 18. They are using every chance they get to try to browbeat lawmakers into submission. These two misguided public officials want […]

Reflections on the rally for public education:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 17, 2017 CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343 Texans are fed up with the destructive course plotted by Abbott and Patrick   Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro commented today on the rally for public education at the state Capitol: Today’s rally for public education is yet another clear sign that Texans are fed […]

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 […]