Two of the worst bills of the 2017 session of the Texas Legislature could be voted on in the Texas Senate as early as this Wednesday, March 29. One would drain taxpayer dollars from public education to give away subsidies to private schools with no accountability. This voucher bill is SB 3 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood). The other part of this dual attack is SB 13 by Sen. Joan Huffman ( R-Houston), which aims to silence your voice at the Capitol by outlawing your voluntary payroll dues deduction to your union. Both of these bad ideas are priorities of the Senate’s presiding officer, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. And it’s Patrick who’s behind the placement of these bills on the Senate calendar for action as soon as Wednesday.
And here’s your three-pronged response:
1) Call your state senator and tell him or her to oppose SB 3 and SB 13. (You can fill out a short form here that automatically connects you by phone to your senator’s office.
It is fitting that these attacks on public education and on those who work in the public schools would advance together, because they are directly connected. One of the leading business backers of the attack on dues deduction has openly said that the bill takes aim at “the teachers” because education employees are opposed to private-school vouchers and other schemes to privatize public education. The attempt in SB 13 to interfere with your voluntary dues deductions really is a back-handed tribute to the effectiveness of your resistance to voucher schemes.
It is up to all of us now to make our voices heard in opposition to both of these bad Senate bills. Please take action now by making phone calls and sending your email letters via the links above to your lawmakers in the state Capitol. Even if you have sent an email on one or both topics before, you can send these now, because they focus on the immediate, two-pronged threat posed by SB 13 and SB 3. Also please be on the lookout for further action alerts featuring multiple ways to get in touch with legislators. If we can muster 13 out of 31 senators to our cause, we can keep these bills off of the Senate floor. Let’s stop these bad bills.