Topic: Legislation

Taking Note of Progress on Some Education Issues

While impasses engineered by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on school finance and other matters dominated the headlines, the legislative session just ended did see some little-noted progress on other issues of importance to parents and education employees. For example: Special education—SB 1398 by Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. (D-Brownsville) and Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) will scale back the use of video...

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TRS Health Plans Changing—Focus on ActiveCare

On June 2 the Teacher Retirement System of Texas board of trustees considered premium rates and benefits for its health-care programs for retired and active public school employees. As anticipated with passage of HB 3976—now awaiting action by the governor—not only have premiums and benefits changed in TRS-Care but the basic structure of health care for retirees will be very...

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Expert Analyst Gives Overview of Proposed State Budget

Eva DeLuna Castro, a top-flight budget analyst for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, has just published a clear-eyed assessment of what the proposed state budget for 2018-19 in SB 1 will and will not do. Here's the lowdown: The Texas Senate and House of Representatives have agreed on a $217 billion 2018-2019 budget, officially named Senate Bill 1. Though...

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End Game: Final Decisions on Budget, Accountability, and More This Weekend

The Texas House and Senate have been busy today naming conference committees to iron out differences on important education issues while beginning a series of key votes on the state budget. Accountability and testing are the subjects of negotiations on two major House bills, HB 22 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston) and HB 515 by Rep. Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston)....

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State House and Senate Differ on Changes Needed in A-F Rating System for Schools

After 2 a.m. Thursday morning the Texas Senate produced a bill tweaking but not fundamentally fixing the A-F  rating system for public schools slated for its first real use in the coming school year. The A-F grades for schools have been highly controversial in the minority of states where they have been adopted, and the Texas version had a rocky...

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House Emphatically Rejects Senate Voucher “Poison Pill”

The Senate's attempt to force acceptance of a private-school voucher scheme by inserting it in a House school-finance bill suffered a major setback today. The House voted 134 to 15 against concurrence in the Senate changes to HB 21, the good school-finance bill by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Houston). Not only that, the House for good measure supported a motion to...

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Nurse-Staffing Notice for Parents Passed by Texas House

The Texas House has finally passed a long-sought bill to notify parents when their child's school lacks full-time nurse staffing. The vote on final passage of SB 196 by Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) was 80 to 63. Under a House floor amendment accepted by House author Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), the bill applies to school districts with 10,000 or more...

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Senate voucher scheme holds school funding hostage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 23, 2017 CONTACT:  Rob D’Amico, 512-627-1343 Texas AFT members urge state reps to reject private-school vouchers that poisoned a crucial school-finance bill A key school-finance bill passed by the Texas House was hijacked last week by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and some members of the Texas Senate intent on passing a scheme for private-school vouchers. “These...

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Post-Midnight Voucher Vote in Texas Senate Deserves Swift House Rejection

HB 21, a good school-finance bill as it left the House, has been turned into a voucher bill in the Texas Senate. That's the bottom-line significance of the post-midnight vote of the Senate on HB 21 on May 22.  The vote was 21-10--pretty much the same margin by which another voucher bill passed in the Senate months ago. That earlier...

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