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This (Last) Week in The Legislature: More Questions Than Answer as Session Comes to a Close

The last full week of the Texas legislative session ended with final decisions being made on several important pieces of legislation, but going into the session’s final weekend, major bills relating to school finance, private school vouchers, pensions for retired educators, the future of higher education, and more are still undecided. Public Education: Vouchers Make a Comeback, School Finance Bill...

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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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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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