Topic: Support Professionals

As Hearings Proliferate, Texas AFT Backs Important Bills

While big hearings on pre-kindergarten expansion, A-F school ratings, and full-time, online instruction via “virtual vouchers” engaged our attention this week, Texas AFT’s legislative team also took part in hearings on other important issues and took a stand on other key bills. Examples include: --Senate Education Committee:  Texas AFT supported SB 13, a bill by Sen. Charles Perry, Republican of...

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A Step Forward on Restoring Scholarships for Educational Aides to Become Teachers

We have another piece of good news to report from Monday’s budget work in the House Appropriations Committee. The subcommittee on education funding has voted to restore funding for 2016-2017 for college scholarships to educational aides seeking to become teachers. This funding, if it survives in the final budget, would be the first since spending for these cost-effective scholarships was...

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Texas Public Education at a Crossroads, Part Two

Our last Hotline outlined the comprehensive attack on public schools embodied in many bills already filed in the 2015 legislature. That attack underwritten by moneyed interests has three basic elements:  underfunding; then declaring failure based on misuse of test scores; and ultimately privatizing and deprofessionalizing public education. But there’s an alternative, positive agenda worth fighting for, one that would reclaim...

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Texas AFT Renews Call for Return of Scholarships for Educational Aides

In testimony today before the House Appropriations subcommittee on education funding, Texas AFT legislative spokesman Ted Melina Raab renewed our call to restore tuition scholarships for educational aides who need financial aid to pursue a college degree leading to teacher certification. Melina Raab noted that the program was a highly successful “grow-your-own-teachers” strategy for Texas public schools until the education...

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Texas AFT Calls for Restoration of Tuition Scholarships for Educational Aides

Texas AFT’s Ted Melina Raab also called for restoration of funding for a highly successful program of tuition scholarships for educational aides. Here’s the pertinent part of Texas AFT’s Senate Finance Committee testimony: Among the more than 65,000 members of Texas AFT are many who have been helped by the Teach for Texas Loan Repayment program and the Educational Aide...

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Houston ISD Adopts AFT-Backed Anti-Bullying Policy to Protect Employees

National AFT media are reporting a labor-management policy breakthrough spearheaded by AFT members in Houston ISD, another Texas stop on AFT President Weingarten’s back-to-school tour. Here’s the story: The nation's first anti-bullying policy for school employees, an effort initiated by Houston educational support workers, developed collaboratively with school administration and now part of the district's standards of conduct for all...

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AFT Seeks Data on Emergency Administration of Medications in Schools

A recent state court ruling in California made it legal there for “trained school support staff” to administer insulin to students without the supervision of a nurse. Texas law since 2005 has authorized non-medical school personnel to serve as “unlicensed diabetes care assistants” under the supervision of their principal. AFT knows that medication administration is a task that paraprofessionals and...

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Bill Affirming Discipline Authority of School Bus Drivers Wins Final Passage

The Texas House gave final approval today to SB 1541 by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), a bill to bolster the authority of school bus drivers to maintain safety and order on board by removing disruptive students. The bill requires each district’s code of student conduct to specify the circumstances in which students may be removed from a...

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Pre-Filed Bills on Counselors, Tests, School Breakfasts

Rep. Eddie Lucio III, Democrat of San Benito, has pre-filed some noteworthy legislation concerning the role of counselors. His HB 280 would restrict to no more than 10 percent the amount of a counselor’s time that could be spent on duties other than counseling and guidance. The bill specifies that time spent administering student assessments would not count as counseling...

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Take Action to Support Funding for the Educational Tuition Exemption Program

Send your online letter now! By granting tuition exemptions to qualified applicants, the Educational Aide Exemption program has paved the way for many dedicated and talented teacher assistants to attend college and become teachers ready to serve long and productive careers in the classroom. The State Board for Educator Certification has noted that there is an exceptionally high teacher-retention rate...

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Texas AFT Backs Funding for Community Colleges, Financial Aid for Aspiring Teachers

In testimony on September 24 before the budget-writing staff of the legislature and the governor, Texas AFT legislative counsel Patty Quinzi urged a renewed commitment by the state to funding for community colleges and for financial aid to aspiring teachers, particularly from among the ranks of experienced classroom paraprofessionals. Community colleges now account for more than half of public higher-education...

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