Round-Up: Take action to stop attack on class-size law! Update on school finance; Training opportunities and Mother’s Day discounts

Stop the attack on 22:1

Send an online letter to your state rep asking for a “NO!” vote on  HB 1133

We have fought off attacks on the 22:1 class-size cap several times in the past 34 years since the law mandating one teacher for every 22 kids in grades K-4 was passed. It’s an extremely popular law, because parents and teachers understand the value of keeping class sizes small.

But some lawmakers don’t think class size matters. Now we’re facing a bad bill–House Bill 1133 by Rep. Jonathan Stickland of Bedford–which would nullify the 22:1 law by letting districts take an average class size across an entire campus, regardless of how many kids are crammed into an individual classroom.

Research has backed up what teachers and parents already know–class size does matter. Teachers need the time to give individualized attention to their students, whether they are struggling or needing enrichment. This bill could be voted on in the Texas House as soon as today, so act now to Stop the Attack on 22:1. Send your letter now!

State Senate passes its version of school finance plan
Bill includes salary increase for teachers/librarians, but also pay for test scores

Sen. Kirk WatsonSen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) speaking to HB 3 in the Senate Monday.

The Texas Senate passed its version of a school finance plan Monday. Since it contains substantial differences from the House’s version, the bill (HB 3) will go to a conference committee to reconcile the differences before final approval by both chambers and the governor. The Senate version includes:

  • A $5,000 pay raise for full-time classroom teachers and librarians. (Attempts by our allies to add counselors, diagnosticians and nurses failed.) The House’s version differs and will need to be reconciled in conference. (So the pay raise is not a “done deal” for anyone yet.)
  • At least $6 billion in new funding for schools and funding for full-day pre-K for low-income students.
  • A statewide designation of teachers that would receive additional compensation, including requirement of assessments for teacher evaluations in the program (pay for test scores). Our allies attempted to remove pay for test scores from the bill, but their amendment–and an amendment to fund some schools more for higher test scores–both failed.

Need Continuing Professional Education credit? Sign up today for our Professional Issues Day

“Incorporating Music and Movement in the Elementary Education Classroom” is just one of 18 workshops offered for CPE credit.

Texas AFT will hold its 2019 convention in Houston on June 7 to 9. Saturday, June 8, is devoted to our Professional Issues Day, which is chock full of workshops for Continuing Professional Education Credit. Want to better incorporate Google Classroom in your course? Looking for more information on dyslexia and dysgraphia? Check out the full line-up here and register here ($50 for full day of three workshops and lunch).

Union Benefits: Save on Mother’s Day bouquets

Mother's Day Flowers
Save up to 25% on flowers/delivery with Teleflora through Union Plus. Be sure and check out all your other member benefits at the site, whether it’s discounted insurance, union-endorsed credit cards or travel savings.

Want to improve your skills and learn how to train others?

Texas AFT is co-sponsoring Summer Educator Academies this June in Houston and El Paso. The Academies will provide research-based, peer-led professional development that addresses the complexities of teaching and learning. The academy is a train-the-trainer model designed to help participating local Texas AFT unions build their capacity to deliver high-quality professional development for workshops.

Dates include:

  • June 23 – June 28, Houston Community College. The course offerings are Managing Behavior in School Communities, Foundations for Effective Teaching 1, and Informing Instruction (SLO) with Differentiating Instruction.
  • June 17-21 at El Paso AFT, 4024 Trowbridge Dr, El Paso, TX. Course offering is an English Language Learner module.

Please contact your local union or Jamie Womack Williams for more information and registration details.

In Case You Missed It:

Our other email publications include “#TxEd in the Media,” a Monday column with commentary and analysis of the top Texas education stories in the news; “Dear Friends,” a letter from Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro every other Wednesday; and the “Legislative Hotline,” a wrap-up of legislative news each Friday.

About this newsletter

Round-Up is the email newsletter from Texas AFT and is published every two weeks on Wednesdays. You are on this list because you either subscribed, or you were added when you participated in a Texas AFT action campaign and opted in to receive emails. You may unsubscribe at any time with the link below, but we’d love to have you stay so you can remain informed about our union, public education, and your profession.

Texas American Federation of Teachers represents more than 65,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers.


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