The everyday heroes of the hurricanes

Today’s Hotline is a repost of AFT President Randi Weingarten’s column featured in the New York Times and Huffington Post. It highlights the remarkable efforts of our union members in assisting educators impacted by the hurricanes. Alseen Bell’s cell phone rang as she stood in the living room of her flood-ravaged home, surveying the devastation left behind by […]

Time to be union proud on Labor Day and in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

Labor Day weekend offers us a chance to reflect on the struggles still ahead for economic equality and justice. Income inequality, lack of access to basics like affordable health care, and an aggressive attempt by the rich and powerful to undermine opportunity by stifling investments in K-12 and higher education are conspiring to make it […]

Anti-teacher amendment rejected in Texas House; deal on school funding delayed in Texas Senate; TRS-Care cost relief for retirees coming to House floor Tuesday

An anti-teacher amendment was rejected decisively by a bipartisan majority in the Texas House late on Monday afternoon. Rep. Bill Zedler (R-Arlington) tried to insert the anti-teacher amendment into SB 16, a bill creating a commission to study long-term fixes for school finance and recommend a comprehensive overhaul before the next regular legislative session in […]

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 […]

Bad Bills Headed for Hearings–Speak Out Against One Aiming to Silence You

Starting Friday, the Texas Senate will be holding rapid-fire hearings over three days in an effort to jam through a batch of bad proposals that have deservedly failed in past sessions. These include bills to enact private-school voucher subsidies (SB 2 on Friday in the Senate Education Committee) and to dictate discriminatory bathroom-use policies affecting […]

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 […]

Why Is Messing with Your Freedom to Use Payroll Deduction on the Governor’s Agenda?

Gov. Greg Abbott has yet to follow up on his informal announcement of a special session of the state Legislature starting July 18 with the issuance of a formal proclamation that would allow bill filing to begin. Nonetheless, Abbott has put out a series of press releases applauding Senate and House members for  announcing their […]

Texas AFT convention highlights: Randi Weingarten speaks to the value of community schools in a “toxic” state and national environment

Texas AFT held its biennial convention–with the theme of “Public School Proud”–last weekend in El Paso. The convention included the usual business of electing statewide officers and deciding on resolutions to guide the union in the coming years. (Louis Malfaro was re-elected as president by acclamation, and Ray McMurrey was re-elected as secretary treasurer by acclamation.) The […]

Bad Bill Moving–Fight Back against Attack on Payroll Deduction!

SB 13, the Texas Senate bill to take away your freedom to have your organizational dues deducted from your paycheck, has been referred to the House State Affairs Committee for review. This bill by Sen. Joan Huffman (R-Houston) resembles legislation that deservedly died without coming to a vote in the House State Affairs Committee in […]