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Texas AFT launches website tracking COVID-19 cases, unsafe conditions in Texas schools

Stopthespreadtx.school allows the public to monitor all campuseswhile the state plans to publish district-only data. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2020   CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343rdamico@texasaft.org Recording of News Conference The Texas American Federation of Teachers today launched an online tool for teachers and others to track COVID-19 cases and report unsafe working conditions on their campuses. Texas AFT initiated the...

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More Texas Senators Come Out Strongly Against Budget Plan Imposing Deep Cuts

Yesterday we reported the approval of a Texas Senate Finance Committee budget plan for 2012-2013 that would make major cuts in public education and other essential public services. We also noted that three members of the 15-member committee—Democratic Sens. Eddie Lucio Jr. of Brownsville, John Whitmire of Houston, and Judith...

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Senate Finance Committee Approves Budget Proposal—Hold the Applause

The Texas Senate Finance Committee approved a new version of the state budget for 2012-2013 today on a split vote. While some observers have applauded this Senate effort, we say:  Hold the applause. This bill—the Senate committee substitute for HB 1—shows just how badly our public schools would be damaged...

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Health-Care Pay Supplement Survives Thanks to School-Finance Amendment

The original version of Sen. Shapiro’s SB 22 committee substitute contained a repeal of the $500 annual health-care pay supplement for school support employees that helps make health coverage more affordable for them. Texas AFT testified against this repeal on Tuesday, and Sen. Royce West, Democrat of Dallas, responded with...

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Finance Committee Aims to Use $3 Billion of Rainy Day Fund for 2012-2013

The chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Steve Ogden, Republican of Bryan, this evening proposed tapping the Rainy Day Fund for $3 billion to cover the cost of the Senate’s budget bill. The move came after his committee separately voted for a bill that cobbles together increased revenue totaling...

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Private-School Voucher Proposals in Committee This Week

Two House bills and one Senate bill coming up for hearings this week would put the state of Texas in the voucher business: sending taxpayer dollars to private entities providing educational and related services to students. HB 1115 by Rep. Ken Paxton, Republican of McKinney, would provide a tax break...

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“Mandate Relief” Bills Move Toward State House and Senate Floor

SB 12, a “mandate relief” bill opposed by Texas AFT, could come up for a vote in the Texas Senate as early as Wednesday, April 20. The bill makes permanent, unnecessary, and adverse changes in teachers’ contract rights, and in effect it “solves” the structural deficit of $5 billion a...

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State TRS Contributions: Temporary versus Permanent Cuts at Issue

We have some progress to report on the outlook for the state’s contributions to the pension and health-care systems for retired school employees. In the Senate State Affairs Committee, Republican Sen. Robert Duncan of Lubbock laid out a new version of his SB 1667 that would restore the full state...

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Senate Subcommittee Advances Controversial School-Finance Bill

Texas AFT got the attention of the Senate Subcommittee on Public Education Funding with testimony describing the damage to our public schools that would be done by the Senate’s proposed budget. The damage is illustrated by the contents of SB 22, the school-finance bill by Sen. Shapiro that would shrink...

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