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SBOE Lays Out Legislative Priorities, Gives Approval to Social Studies Standards

This week in Austin was the final meeting of the year for the State Board of Education (SBOE). Among their standard duties, the board agreed upon several legislative priorities that fell under some broad topics: charter school transparency, charter regulation, instructional materials, board support, and school funding/appropriations. Their specific priorities include requiring the SBOE to  approve all charter expansion amendments ...

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Resources for educators in the second tier to find vaccine distributions

In the foreground are immunization plungers and vials. In the background is a hand resting on paper.

Texas AFT continues to fight for all educators to have priority access to the COVID-19 vaccine, as front-line workers. Last month, we asked Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, to prioritize school employees for vaccine distribution. Since then, Dr. Hellerstedt said, “All providers that...

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Bridges Institute offers session on suicide prevention

The Texas AFT Linda Bridges Institute will hold a webinar on suicide prevention next Wednesday, January 13, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The program, “ASK About Suicide to Save A Life™,” is a best practice, gatekeeper training that teaches how to identify suicide risk factors, protective factors, warning signs,...

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Virtual series looks at financial management for educators

Free, no-obligation financial advice is hard to come by. Thanks to our partnership with Horace Mann, we’re happy to share a speaker’s series that can help you navigate your financial and retirement planning. Today Show financial editor Jean Chatzky starts off Horace Mann’s Virtual Speaker Series on Tuesday, January 12,...

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Helping Our Students Understand The Events of Jan. 6

Figure of Lady Justice, holding scales.

A statement from Texas AFT President Zeph Capo on the violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Additional resources for responding to this moment are below. Yesterday was a disturbing day in the history of our country. I am deeply saddened by the actions that ripped at the...

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Houston Unions Won Elected Consultation. Here’s Why It Matters.

Text says, "What is elected consultation?" Illustration shows four people seated at a table.

In December, the Houston Federation of Teachers (HFT) and Houston Educational Support Personnel (HESP) won elected consultation in Houston ISD. The results were overwhelming: HFT won with 93% of the vote and HESP won its election with 80% of the vote. Coming amid the challenges of a global pandemic, this...

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Open Letter to Texas Health Commissioner: Educators Are Front-Line Workers

Text says, "Educators are front-line workers. They deserve the protections of front-line workers."

Dec. 8, 2020 Dr. John Hellerstedt Texas Department of State Health Services P.O. Box 149347 Austin, Texas 78714-9347 Dear Dr. Hellerstedt, Whether they're classroom teachers, support professionals, school counselors, or bus drivers, our educators are essential front-line workers. They deserve the protections of front-line workers. In one of the most...

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Local Leader Spotlight: Nikki Cowart, President of Cy-Fair AFT

Professional photo of Nikki Cowart

Nikki Cowart, president of Cy-Fair AFT With more than 110,000 students, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, nestled in the suburbs of Houston, is the third-largest school district in Texas. In the district, Cy-Fair AFT, the local affiliate of Texas AFT, is the largest, loudest voice for employees. A diverse union of professional educators,...

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