Texas AFT member Rebekah Ozuna (left) testifies late in the evening at the joint committee hearing This Tuesday, the House Committee on Public Education and the House Committee on Higher Education held a joint hearing to discuss solutions to the teacher retention crisis. The marathon hearing lasted 12 hours and included 14 panels of invited testimony discussing the teacher recruitment...Read More
Texas Senate negotiators delivered a proposal to House Speaker Joe Straus today reportedly seeking House agreement to the Senate’s planned funding levels for public education—containing cuts in school funding about half as deep as the House cuts but still devastating. House negotiators supposedly have moved toward the Senate’s position but...Read More
“There’s an Ugliness to a Lower-Funded Environment,” Author Says–Keep Calls Coming Against Amendments Promoting Vouchers, Gutting Class-Size Caps, Salary Standards, and Contract Rights
On Friday, May 20, we expect a new attempt in the afternoon to bring up SB 1811, a budget-related “fiscal matters” bill accompanied by 806 pages of proposed amendments. Among these are bad amendments that would drain public-school funds to...Read More
The Texas House will be in session on Saturday, which may well be the crucial day of decision on the state budget. It is vital that your legislators hear from you on this day and see a strong presence in the capitol of supporters of Texas public education who demand...Read More
No Votes Today on Bills Targeted for Voucher Amendment, Attacks on Class-Size Caps, Salaries, Contracts—Keep Those Calls Coming!
SB 1811 and SB 1581 stalled at the starting gate on the House floor today, as lawmakers have received a ton of calls in opposition to proposed amendments to these bills promoting vouchers and attacking class-size caps, salaries, and teacher...Read More
The slowdown in the Texas House is partly due to the sobering recognition of just how deeply the House budget plan would cut funding for school districts around the state. Newly published district-by-district tallies of the damage this plan would cause have many legislators looking for the exits before they’re...Read More
As lawmakers have second thoughts about deep budget cuts, some are naturally starting to wonder if the governor’s stance against any use of the state’s Rainy Day Fund for 2012-2013 is really as politically astute as they previously supposed. In fact, the case for using the Rainy Day Fund is...Read More
Mark your calendar! This Saturday, May 21, our friends at the Save Texas Schools parent/community group have called for a rally “in the capitol” to press legislators to reverse the deep cuts planned for public schools and other core public services. Please come to the capitol for this important event...Read More
Battle Stations! Private-School Vouchers Plus Attacks on Class-Size Caps, Pay Standards, and Contract Safeguards Are on House Agenda Tomorrow—Call Your State Rep!
We face at least two major battles on the House floor tomorrow. Battle number one—class size, salaries, contracts: The most comprehensively bad bill of the current state legislative session, HB 400, may have died last Thursday as a freestanding bill,...Read More
A fight flared up in the Texas Senate today over HB 275, a bill relating to the use of the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund (a/k/a the Rainy Day Fund) to avoid deep cuts in funding for public education and other core public services. The Senate approved use of $3.97 billion...Read More
We stopped HB 400 last Thursday, but pieces of that bill and other bad ideas for balancing the budget at the expense of students and teachers are expected to reappear when the House takes up two broad Senate bills, SB 1811 and SB 1581, on Wednesday. Just about anything relating...Read More
Rep. Scott Hochberg, Democrat of Houston, did a good turn yesterday for educational aides who have been receiving scholarship help to attend college and become certified teachers. He amended his bill, HB 3624, to ensure that all those already attending college with the help of this program would remain eligible...Read More
Two positive bills affecting governance and benefits under the Teacher Retirement System were passed by the Texas House this week. HB 3747 by Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, Democrat of San Antonio, would provide for the direct election by TRS members of the four TRS trustees who represent retirees, employees in...Read More