Round-Up: August 25, 2017

Texas AFT Round Up



  • Dear Friend: A welcome back to school from Louis Malfaro
  • Aldine AFT distributes thousands of free books
  • How changes to retiree health care awoke a sleeping giant
  • Recapping the special session, part one
  • Register with Share My Lesson (or complete your profile) to be eligible to win one of three $500 gift cards
  • About this newsletter

August 25, 2017

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AFT and Education Austin leaders welcome school bus drivers back to school in Austin ISD. (Pictured clockwise from back left are Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro, AFT President Randi Weingarten, Education Austin President Ken Zarifis, and Education Austin Vice Presidents Montserrat Garibay and Trasell Underwood.

Dear Friend,

Louis MalfaroWelcome back to a new school year! Whether you are a teacher, bus driver, parent, student or anyone else associated with our public schools, you are likely caught up in the hustle and bustle, the nervousness, the exhilaration and the rush of this busy and exciting time of year. This is the time when terms like school-night, on the clock, tardy bell, class schedule, and backpack become the watchwords of the day, as our lives settle into a regularity and rhythm that tell us summer is fading (though not the heat!) and fall is somewhere around the corner. I wish you every good fortune and success in your work this school year, and I thank you teacher, bus driver, teaching assistant, counselor, custodian, clerk, food service worker and librarian for all that you will do for your public school this year.

Aldine AFT leaders and members join faculty and students on Great Day Houston!  to promote the local union’s First Book event.

Aldine AFT distributes thousands of free books

Aldine AFT members distributed some 40,000 free books to students, families, and teachers in Aldine ISD on Aug. 12. The event continued a series of events sponsored by Texas AFT local unions the past five four years in partnership with First Book, a nonprofit that gives free books primarily to low-income students across the country.

When brutal cost increases and benefit reductions in the state retired teachers’ health-care plan awakened a “sleeping giant,” legislators took notice

I retired in May of 2013 after a 29-year teaching career, one in Brownsville ISD and 28 in McAllen ISD. Before I retired, I looked carefully at the three Teacher Retirement System health-care options (TRS-Care)–tiers 1, 2, and 3. I chose the one with the best benefits, TRS-Care-3, because the “high plan” served me well while teaching. I figured the $295 into my retirement budget, and everything was going great…until Gov. Greg Abbott convened the 85th Texas Legislature in January.

Although I have begun to dread every legislative session, the 85th Legislature proved to be particularly brutal to retired teachers in Texas and to our public education system. More…

Capitol dome

Recapping the special session, part one
(From the daily Legislative Hotline email)

We have much to be thankful for in relation to the July-August special session of the Texas Legislature—primarily for the fact that it is over. The session called by Gov. Greg Abbott that ran from July 18 through August 15 ended with Abbott and his sidekick Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick frustrated by their failure to achieve some of their top misguided priorities. These included:  a private-school voucher bill targeting students with disabilities; a transgender-discrimination bill (the so-called “bathroom bill”); and a takeaway of public employees’ freedom to opt for payroll deduction of their organizational dues.

Some 18 of Abbott’s 20 agenda items sailed through the Texas Senate, but fewer than half made it through the Texas House in a form acceptable to Abbott and Patrick, who ramrods the Senate but has discovered his influence in the House is next to nil. More…

Share My Lesson Back To School

Register with Share My Lesson (or complete your profile) to be eligible to win one of three $500 gift cards

1.1 million educators have signed up for Share My Lesson since AFT launched the site in 2012. Why? Because at you can search more than 420,000 FREE lesson plans and activities including curated collections. SML members keep coming back for free customized lesson plans and other resources, but now we also have for-credit professional development webinars.
Start exploring the exciting new features we’ve been working on, just for you, in time for the new school year. You’ll be eligible to win one of three $500 gift cards if you register for the site or complete your profile.

About this newsletter

Round-Up is the newest email newsletter from Texas AFT and is published every two weeks. You are on this list because you either subscribed, or you were added when you opted in participating in a Texas AFT action campaign. You may unsubscribe at any time with the link below, but we’d love to have you stay to hear more about our union and your profession.

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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