Topic: Higher Education

Speaking of Teacher Shortages, Please Note—Financial Relief Available for Teaching in High-Need Schools and High-Need Subject Areas

This week the national media seem to have discovered there is a shortage of teachers in many parts of the country, especially a shortage of teachers prepared to serve in low-income schools or high-need subject areas. For devotees of free-market economics, one is tempted to say the supply-and-demand solution to this problem should be blindingly obvious: higher pay. It also...

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The Debt-Free Checklist and Why Debt-Free Higher Education is Crucial

One of the major unmet education needs in Texas and the whole country is in higher education, where an affordability crisis has been putting college out of reach or making student debt ever more burdensome for most families. Financial aid has not kept up with rising costs in Texas in the wake of tuition deregulation. There is a pressing need...

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TRS Extends Pension and Health-Care Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses; Similar Announcements Made for Higher-Ed Employees Covered by ERS, UT, and A&M Systems

For ready reference you will find below the full text of the Texas Teacher Retirement System announcement regarding benefits for same-sex spouses under the June 26 U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, as well as links to similar announcements of interest to higher-education employees from the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the University of Texas System, and Texas A&M....

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Coming Up at the State Capitol

On February 20 Texas AFT testified before a key House budget-writing subcommittee in support of the funding increases needed for public education and education employees in Texas. On February 23 that same panel, the House Appropriations subcommittee on education funding, will hear from us again on the funding needs of community colleges. Also on February 23 the House Pensions Committee...

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Health Benefits for Community-College Employees Defended by Texas AFT

One other topic addressed by Texas AFT in Senate Finance testimony today was the need to defend higher-education employees’ group health insurance. Here’s what we said: Appropriations for Higher Education Employee Group Insurance (HEGI) contributions should be at a level that will maintain current benefit levels—including the current premium-sharing arrangement—meet expected health cost trends and provide a reasonable reserve fund....

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In Case You Missed It: “The Promise of Career and Technical Education”

AFT President Randi Weingarten used her November 16 “What Matters Most” column to lay out some home truths about the U.S. economy and the rising importance of career and technical education to help Americans get ahead. We reprint her column on “The Promise of Career and Technical Education” here: On the surface, the latest jobs report from the Department of Labor is...

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Van de Putte Proposal Would Guarantee Two Years of Community College for High-School Grads

The percentage of adults over 25 with a high-school diploma is lower in Texas than in any other state. That’s a waste of human potential and a blow to the state’s economic productivity. Projections are that in the near future more than half of job openings will require not only high-school completion but also additional educational credentials beyond high school....

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House Speaker Joe Straus Names a New Education Committee on Workforce Issues

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus on June 20 appointed members to a new Joint Interim Committee to Study Education Policy for a Skilled Workforce. The committee will study career and technology education programs—in particular how CTE programs can better align with those offered in Texas colleges and with the needs of Texas employers. Committee members will include:  co-chair Jim Murphy,...

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Calling for Investment in Public Education, Wendy Davis Counters Texas Republican Party’s Call for New Education Spending Cuts

At the Texas AFT Leadership Conference in San Marcos today, state Sen. Wendy Davis, candidate for governor, made a powerful statement of support for public education and all the education employees who serve the children in our public schools. Davis said Texas educators have been denied the resources and recognition they deserve, while the state has denied Texas schoolchildren the...

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“Freedom Scholarship” for Hispanic/Latino High School Seniors—Apply by June 13

The American Federation of Teachers Latino Caucus is now accepting applications for the Maria Portalatin National Freedom Scholarship. Lifetime activist Maria Portalatin helped create the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and was a member of the United Federation of Teachers, the New York State United Teachers, and the American Federation of Teachers. This annual prize is named the "Freedom...

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Senate Committees to Study Teacher Prep, Dual Credit, College Readiness, and TRS Pension and Health-Care Programs

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Tuesday announced new interim study assignments for key committees on topics of major interest for education employees in both pre-K/12 public schools and higher education.  Dewhurst said the topics ranged from “further improving the quality of higher education in Texas to assessing the financial health of our state’s key retirement funds.” Dewhurst gave the following...

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Higher Ed, Not Debt-AFT Backs National Campaign for Affordable College Access

AFT President Randi Weingarten and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) spoke March 6 at the Washington, D.C., launch of "Higher Ed, Not Debt," a new multiyear campaign advocating affordable access to higher education for all, without the burden of debt or financial hardship. To learn how you can get involved, visit Higher Ed, Not Debt. The message of this campaign...

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