Stand up and be counted for your profession, your students, your public schools

–Stand up and be counted for your profession, your students, your public schools

–Deadline to comment on corrective action for students with disabilities

–Make schools safe havens—valuing children more than guns

Stand up and be counted for your profession, your students, your public schools:  Early voting is under way across Texas from now through March 2 in the party primary elections that will largely decide who governs in Austin and Washington, D.C., come 2019. Use your power at the polls to push back against chronic underfunding of our schools and ongoing attacks on public education. Check out Texas AFT’s recommendations in contested races in both Republican and Democratic primaries:   https://www.votetexas.gov/faq/early-voting.html .

Deadline for comments on corrective action for students with disabilities:  The Texas Education Agency is asking for comments on its first draft of a corrective-action plan to make up for years of arbitrarily capping the percentage of students with disabilities eligible to receive special-education services. The deadline for first-draft comments is coming up at midnight tonight. The draft calls for an array of programs, including a massive professional-development effort to update teachers’ training in dealing with students with disabilities. Also included would be compensatory services delivered by school districts and third-party vendors to those who should have received services but did not because of the state’s policy. To review the first draft and offer your suggestions, visit this TEA website and take part in the survey described there: https://tea.texas.gov/TexasSPED/. Taking into account the survey responses and other comments, TEA will prepare a formal proposal, will take another round of public comments on that version, and then will submit a final proposal to the U.S. Department of Education later this spring.

Make schools safe havens—valuing children more than guns: AFT President Randi Weingarten spent Saturday in Broward County, Florida, meeting with educators and school staff from Stoneman Douglas High School, site of the latest horrific school shooting, and from many other schools, including leaders and members of the Broward Teachers Union. Hear what she learned from this visit and find out about actions you can take now to make sure our society values children more than guns:  https://www.aft.org/our-community/we-care-we-fight-we-show/after-parkland-time-action-now.