Topic: Class Size

Report shows our state’s dismal role in “A Decade of Neglect” for public school funding

Texas is at the top of the list of states with the largest cut in K-12 and higher education funding since the 2008 recession, according to a groundbreaking report by the American Federation of Teachers. Governments in 25 states have shortchanged public K-12 education by $19 billion over the last decade, the report found. “A Decade of Neglect: Public Education Funding in the Aftermath...

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Send a Message to the U.S. Education Secretary—Oppose This Cruel and Catastrophic Budget

Please join tens of thousands of AFT members who already have answered the call to speak out against the disastrous education budget proposal from the Donald Trump administration. Send your e-letter now to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos urging her to renounce this retrograde plan. Just look at what the Trump/DeVos budget proposes: While Trump and DeVos chose private schools...

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Pre-Filing of Bills for 2017 Legislative Session Has Begun

Monday, November 14, marked the opening of bill filing for the 2017 legislative session that starts January 10. Education-related measures make up a high percentage of the 500 or so bills already pre-filed this week. Pre-filed bills address many perennial issues and some hot new topics. In the latter category we note these, for example: HB 363 by Rep. Dan...

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Official State Study Urges Smaller Pre-K Class Sizes, Lower Student-to-Teacher Ratios

State legislation passed last year at the urging of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott restored some—but not all—the funding for pre-kindergarten programs lost to ill-conceived budget cuts in 2011. One piece of that 2015 legislation called for a study by the Texas Education Agency to develop recommendations regarding optimal class sizes and student-to-teacher ratios. This month TEA published the resulting study,...

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Tell the Commissioner: Districts of Innovation Need to Follow the District of Innovation Law

A new “district of innovation” law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2015 authorizes school districts to exempt themselves from many state Education Code mandates at local discretion. But in order to do so they have to meet certain conditions set out in the new law. The commissioner of education earlier this month proposed rules to implement the “district of...

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Hazard Warning: Local “Innovation Plans” Can Nullify Employee and Student Safeguards in State Law

One of the most hazardous pieces of legislation enacted by Texas lawmakers last year bears a harmless-sounding name. We refer to the law authorizing school districts to declare themselves “districts of innovation” and thereby to exempt themselves from many important safeguards of educational quality and employee, student, and parental rights in the Texas Education Code. Some of the core state...

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Texas AFT Backs Full-Day Pre-K Expansion in Texas House Hearing

The state House Public Education Committee at its Tuesday meeting heard strong testimony in support of full-day pre-K from Texas AFT and many other early-childhood-education advocates, including Montserrat Garibay, vice-president of our Education Austin affiliate in Austin ISD. Texas AFT legislative spokesman Ted Melina Raab testified in favor of moving further and faster in the direction of full-day pre-K for...

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Texas AFT Comments on Governor’s “State of the State” Speech and Budget

Gov. Greg Abbott gave a “state of the state” speech and put out a budget proposal today that left much to be desired. Responding to the governor’s education budget and policy ideas, Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro offered him some advice: “There are no shortcuts to great schools—investing in what works will help Texas become the best.” In a statement...

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Full-Day Pre-K Gets a Boost from Activists at Capitol

Efforts to secure increased state funding for full-day pre-K were under way at the capitol Monday. Senators at a day-long budget meeting heard the call for pre-K expansion in testimony from Texas AFT, other education organizations, parents, and community allies. Meanwhile, a whole passel of pre-K advocates, including a sizable number of Texas AFT members from affiliates like Education Austin,...

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Notable Bills Pre-Filed for 2015 Legislative Session

More than 700 pieces of legislation already have been pre-filed for the 2015 legislative session starting on January 13 in Austin. Pre-filing by no means guarantees early action or indeed any action on these bills and resolutions. But it does attract attention, and here are some of the bills that have attracted ours since pre-filing began on November 10: --School...

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