Aug. 7, 2020: Tell the Gov. to Do His Job!; DeVos nabs grant $ for private schools; Town Halls on #ReopeningSafely; And today starts a Sales Tax Holiday

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You can find all news, updates and resources addressing COVID-19 here on our website.


Join the thousands of educators who are telling Gov. Abbott: ‘Do Your Job!’

Thousands of educators have already sent Gov. Greg Abbott a message: “To Reopen Schools Safely, You Need to Do Your Job!” Add your voice by sending him an online letter now.

The stakes are high, and we only have one chance to do this right. Gov. Abbott is the one who has to make that happen. If the governor lets districts barrel into immediate in-person instruction — here’s what will happen: Texans will die while they’re educating kids, and Texas educators and parents will lose all faith in his ability to keep us safe.

Tell the governor to do his job and get this virus under control.

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Betsy DeVos cheats Texas public schools out of millions in CARES Act funding

New analysis of the CARES act from IDRA (Intercultural Development Research Association) shows that public school districts have to give up more than $44.2 million in funding granted by the CARES act to private schools with campuses within their district boundaries. This new rule instituted by Betsy DeVos’ Department of Education would increase the funding that usually is diverted to private education in Texas by over $38.7 million. Read more…

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New endorsements for November General Election

Election 2020Texas AFT’s Committee on Political Education endorsed another round of great pro-public education champions this week. Educators have the chance to elect new leaders from the state house to the state senate to Congress this year. For the Texas House, we support Sarah Demarchant and Natali Hurtado, two women of color that will bring a fresh new perspective to the Legislature.

For Senate District 19, we endorse Rep. Roland Gutierrez, a battle-tested legislator that will fight for public education over school privatization. For Congress, Texas AFT supports a diverse group of new candidates from across the state: Hank Gilbert (CD-1) in East Texas, Sima Ladjevardian (CD-2) and Mike Siegal (CD-10) from Central Texas, Lulu Seikaly (CD-3), Stephen Daniel (CD-6), and Candace Valenzuela (CD-24) in North Texas. Learn more at our Election 2020 page.

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Help our union family members impacted by Hurricane Hanna

Flooded Neighborhood
Our members need our help. Hurricane Hanna has damaged the lower Gulf Coast and in the Rio Grande Valley. Our local unions worked around the clock to check in with our members, their families, students, and communities during the hurricane. Texas AFT is providing direct aid to our school employees and their families impacted by heavy winds and flooding. Donate now to help out!

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JOLT Action Townhall with Texas AFT

Alejandra Lopez, San Antonio Alliance president

JOLT Action founder and former U.S. Senate candidate Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez moderated a Zoom discussion with Alejandra Lopez, President of the San Antonio Alliance, Paloma Garner of Houston Federation of Teachers, and State Rep. Mary Gonzalez. The event drew hundreds of people to talk about safely reopening schools, especially in the Latinx community.

Lopez’s voice was a clarion call for teachers, “The government seems intent on sending some of us to our deaths. No decisions should be made about us, without us.” Representative Gonzalez was clear that Texas needs the voice of teachers at the table because elections have consequences and educators are mobilizing. JOLT’s work to organize communities of color and register voters in Texas will change Texas for the better and give parents and educators a more representative government. Find video of the event here.

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Got questions on reopenings?

Join State Sen. Judith Zaffirini for Back to School? Your Questions, Answered. on Back To School Webinar PosterWednesday, August 12, 1:30-2:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Expert panelists will hold a solution-centered discussion about the challenges facing Texas schools, parents, and educators during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers are eligible to receive continuing professional education (CPE) credit for this event. Click here to register. Registrants will receive a confirmation email with a password to join the meeting.

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Insurance providers you can trust…with products crafted for educators!

Horace Mann NTA

National Teachers Associates Life Insurance Company (NTA) has a long-standing relationship with Texas AFT, offering members superior service and value. This relationship has recently been expanded to include products and programs provided by Horace Mann to significantly increase membership benefits. Horace Mann, like NTA, understands the educational community, and they’re committed to providing practical solutions to help members — both in and out of the classroom.

Products and services designed with educators in mind:

  • Supplemental insurance to provide additional money for expenses associated with accidents or sudden illnesses
  • Auto, home, and life insurance, as well as retirement solutions, with personalized service for all school employees
  • Educator rates and discounts on auto insurance and educator rates on life insurance
  • Auto and homeowners insurance benefits and features customized for educators
  • Convenient payroll deduction available for auto, supplemental and life insurance premiums, and retirement savings contributions (where available)
  • Solutions to challenges educators face – their representatives offer no-cost workshops on relevant topics designed to help members with the challenges they face every day – in and out of the classroom.

To learn more or to contact your local representative, visit ntalife.com or horacemann.com.

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Briefs:

Sales Tax Holiday starts today


The annual Sales Tax Holiday starts today and runs through Sunday letting Texans buy a variety of goods with no sales tax. Clothing, backpacks, school supplies and many other items are covered under the exemption, and you can find the full list at the State Comptroller’s website.

Protect Students GraphicOn Wednesdays, we wear red!

Turn your social media channels red each Wednesday in support of educators and students. Our goal is to show our numbers across platforms and to push local leaders and elected officials to show their support too.

While we’ve seen some districts and counties delay start dates for in-person instruction and move closer to our common sense plan for safe school reopenings, there’s still work to do this back-to-school season.

 

We need you! Paid internship open

Texas AFT is hiring a paid college intern for the next academic year. Do you have the right stuff? Learn more here.

 


 
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Texas American Federation of Teachers represents more than 65,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.6-million-member American Federation of Teachers.

 


 

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