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Quorum break doesn’t excuse longstanding legislative inaction on educator pensions

Looking upward into the Texas State Capitol dome.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 15, 2021CONTACT: Rob D'Amico, 512-627-1343, rdamico@texasaft.org Texas AFT President Zeph Capo commented today on the importance of preserving and enhancing voter rights and the debate over retired educators’ pensions: Texas AFT has stood up for retired educators session after session, demanding supplemental TRS payments and cost-of-living adjustments. These pleas often go unheard; in this year’s regular...

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Legislative Update: Week of July 12, 2021

Sen. Bryan Hughes (left) starts the hearing on SB 3—the “critical race theory” bill—Thursday. The truth on the 13th check, other measures in limbo with quorum break Democrats who broke quorum and flew to Washington, D.C., have said they are adamant about not returning as long as the state leadership...

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TRS Board update: July 16, 2021

Last week the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Texas held its first in-person board meeting since COVID-19 sent everyone into lockdown last year. Much of the meeting consisted of a legislative update that focused on how the agency will be impacted by the state budget bill, SB 1 by Sen...

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Child tax credit brings monthly checks to millions of families

Thanks to the successful passage of the American Rescue Plan, tens of millions of American families covering nearly 60 million children will begin to see their much-needed first monthly Child Tax Credit payment hit their bank accounts (for 86% of families) or arrive in the mail today or in the...

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Texas House Democrats break quorum again over voting rights

Rep. Senfronia Thompson of Houston. Watch the video. In the noisy chaos of Austin politics, it can be difficult to hear clear voices, but Texas state Rep. Senfronia Thompson came through loud and clear this week in a press conference with Democratic colleagues from Washington, D.C.: "When I looked at...

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Legislative Update: Week of July 5, 2021

Texas AFT retirees at the Capitol testifying in favor of a 13th check. Pictured, from left, are Lydia Lydia Carrillo-Valdez, Ralph Cruzan, Becky Ovalle, Rita Runnels, and Phyllis Ruffins. Gov. Greg Abbott finally published his legislative agenda Wednesday for the special session of the Legislature that kicked off Thursday. On...

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Together We Rise Citizenship Clinic set for Rio Grande Valley

Statue of Liberty: Text: Together We Rise Citizenship Clinic

Información en Español a continuación Are you a lawful permanent resident? Become a citizen and exercise all your rights!Free Citizenship ClinicSat, August 28, Arrive at 9:00 am or 1:00 pmBoys & Girls Club of McAllen-Roney Center4501 N. 34th St, McAllen, TX 78504Please wear your mask. Free books/backpacks for families. Applicants...

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STAAR test scores are low — as we all knew they would be

The Texas Education Agency released spring STAAR test results for grades 3-8 this week that showed, for the first time since 2012, the number of students meeting grade-level proficiency in math and science started to decline, with the math portion of the assessment accounting for the biggest drop in test scores. Obviously, these scores...

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House Speaker issues border-related assignments to committees

Last week, Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan issued interim charges for 12 Texas Legislature committees. Each committee’s charges are related to the Texas-Mexico border. Along with specific charges related to their work, each committee received a general directive from the speaker to review the distribution of federal pandemic recovery...

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Department of Education sends letter to TEA on COVID-19 relief funds

On June 30, the Department of Education wrote to the Texas Education Agency and Commissioner of Education Mike Morath about the agency’s plans for the state’s federal COVID-19 relief for education. As we and other education advocates have noted, TEA released the bulk of remaining federal aid to schools in...

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