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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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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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Texas AFT Convention: Officers re-elected, 9 resolutions passed

Texas AFT convened its 30th biennial convention (and our first virtual convention) on June 25. With the theme “We Fight, We Win,” convention speakers and updates highlighted not only the challenges of the past year (both pandemic and political) but the victories hard-won by our members and leaders. Underscoring those...

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Mourning the loss of our union’s ‘happy warrior’

“While bargaining in education remains elusive, we will have Sharon’s years of activist building and steward training in Texas AFT to thank when we finally reach our goal of a bargained contract.”Texas AFT President Zeph Capo Sharon Cole Sharon Cole, one of the early trainers for what we were then known...

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TEA releases guidance on remote instruction options for districts

Logo for the Texas Education Agency

The Texas Education Agency released a document outlining the rules and procedures needed for districts to offer remote instruction — outside of the Texas Virtual School Network (TVSN) — for the coming school year. With a few rare exceptions, these remote students are not eligible for Average Daily Attendance funding...

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Governor sets special session date for July 8

Tree-lined walkway leading to the Texas Capitol building

Last Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott set a date for a special legislative session: July 8. Abbott did not set the agenda for what can be considered in that special session yet. But he previously has stated that the session will at least cover Senate Bill 7, the voter suppression bill...

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SBOE vetoes 4 of 7 new charter applicants

Photo shows a person holding up their hand, palm stretched outward, as if to say no. Text says, "Tell the State Board of Education to say NO to more charter schools."

The commissioner of education approved seven new charter applicants in June, and the State Board of Education last week had the opportunity to hear from each to determine whether to allow or veto each application. After these hearings, SBOE denied four of the seven applicants. Despite evidence that public schools...

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Local unions successful in winning pay raises, retention bonuses

Unlike 2019’s state legislation that sent new money to school districts for required pay increases, local school boards are responsible for all compensation changes.  Our local unions have been working on campaigns for the past two months pushing for higher pay for all school employees. Here’s a list of recent...

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