House committee embarks on interim charges in Tuesday hearing on immigration impacts and investments related to Russia

Against a light blue is ghosted school desks. Text: The Lost Decade Without significant statewide investment in public school funding, Texas is facing a retention crisis for certified teachers and qualified school staff.

The House Public Education Committee will be looking at the impacts immigrants have on schools and investments in Russia by public education funds when it meets Tuesday morning to start its work on interim charges—studying issues in preparation for the next legislative session. Education Commissioner Mike Morath will address these issues and likely others in an “update on public education.”

Now would be a great time to start developing your activist chops by submitting comments to the committee on these issues at the Texas House Portal. (Look for “Public Education April 26, 2022” under the “Comments regarding/Bills and Topics” section.) Our message: keep our focus on increasing funding for schools and educators, not culture war issues that distract us from the mission of educating our students.

In the following months, the committee will have hearings on what likely will be a focus in the next session: so-called “parental rights” and strategies for teacher recruitment and retention. Texas AFT already has done the groundwork for how we keep teachers in the classroom with our in-depth look at the need for respect, higher salaries, and more manageable workloads in our joint report with Every TexanThe Lost Decade: Texas schools are underfunded and facing devastating staffing shortages.