Topic: Class Size

Gubernatorial Candidate Abbott Aligns with Education Privatizers

Attorney General Greg Abbott, seeking the governorship on the Republican ticket, this week more clearly than ever aligned himself with those who want to privatize the operation of public schools. Abbott recycled two ideas from the privateers’ playbook—eliminating state education standards in the name of “local control” on the one hand, and on the other creating a state “achievement school...

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If School Improvement is the Goal, Lawmakers Will Not Embrace “Texans for Education Reform” Privatization Agenda

The Texas House Public Education Committee’s April 22 hearing showcased the agenda of “Texans for Education Reform,” a well-funded group that emerged last year as a leading force in efforts at the legislature to declare public schools a failure and privatize them. The group’s agenda includes multiple mechanisms for takeover of neighborhood schools and handover of those schools to private...

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Your Guide to Home Rule—What the Dallas ISD Fight Over Home Rule Is Really About

The backers of the current drive to turn Dallas ISD into a "home rule" charter district—the first ever in Texas—would have you believe that nothing but sweetness and light and solicitude for the children of Dallas ISD lies behind their bid to take over the district. For a reliable guide to what's really going on—a grab for power that would...

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“Stealth Privatization” of Dallas ISD Attracts Growing Opposition

Texas AFT’s local affiliate representing school employees in Dallas ISD, the Alliance-AFT, and allied local community groups are not alone in taking a dim view of the proposed “home rule” takeover of their school district. As reported by education historian and ”corporate reform” critic Diane Ravitch on her blog, this past weekend the State Democratic Executive Committee—the elected governing board...

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Something Ugly This Way Comes—Proposed “Home Rule” Takeover of Dallas ISD

While we await the results of Tuesday’s primary elections (which we will cover in upcoming Hotlines), we have troubling news to report out of Dallas. For today, we will let this March 3 press statement from Rena Honea, president of our big Alliance-AFT affiliate in Dallas ISD, tell the story, which is one of statewide importance: Push for home-rule charter...

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Texas AFT Sounds Cautionary Note on New Graduation Options: lllusion or Reality?

At the September 17 State Board of Education hearing on how to implement new graduation options under HB 5, Texas AFT legislative counsel Patty Quinzi sounded a cautionary note regarding the capacity of school districts to make those new options a reality. First, she noted, “the legislature provided schools with no new funding to add new academic programs or to...

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Be Forewarned: Why “Achievement District” Legislation is a Bad Idea for Texas

The would-be privatizers of public education in Texas have not relented just because the regular session of the legislature ended last Monday. They are now pressing Gov. Rick Perry to expand the agenda of the current special session, which he called to consider legislative redistricting, to include some of their pet projects, including so-called “achievement district” bills. Just today an...

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End-of-Session Peril: Oppose Involuntary “Charterization” of Neighborhood Schools!

A proposed agreement between House and Senate negotiators on SB 2, the charter-expansion bill, contains one of the worst ideas of the 2013 legislative session.  It’s a legislative deal made to order for the army of lobbyists campaigning to turn public schools over to private operators who can’t be bothered with meeting state quality standards. This provision in SB 2...

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Eleventh-Hour Attacks on Neighborhood Schools—Don’t Let the Privatizers Prevail!

With just four days to go in the 2013 legislative session, private interests out to take over neighborhood schools have an army of well-connected lobbyists working overtime at the state capitol to salvage their agenda. One piece of that agenda is embedded in SECTION 2 of the Senate version of SB 2. This provision would let school districts turn campuses...

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Update on Status of Major Issues in Legislature with Two Weeks Left to Go

Budget Talks:  Senate and House negotiating teams will meet Monday morning, May 13, to discuss recommendations for parts of the overall state budget, but health and education items are not on the agenda for this formal meeting. There has been little apparent progress in either the House or Senate toward restoring additional education funding so that cuts will not continue...

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Bills to Privatize Neighborhood Schools Lurk in House and Senate Committees

Still lurking in Senate and House committees are bills that are part of the multi-front attack on neighborhood public schools this session. (Keep reading for the full story, but if you are ready now you can strike a blow against these bad bills by sending an e-letter against the whole multi-bill barrage.) One of them is the latest version of...

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Send Your Senator a Message: Reject State Handover of Neighborhood Schools to Private Operators

SB 1718 by Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) would authorize the commissioner of education to take over neighborhood schools rated low-performing and turn them over to charter operators. In the process, students, teachers, and parents would lose most of the safeguards of educational quality and fair treatment that they have under the Education Code. The bill could come up for a...

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