Topic: Class Size

Texas AFT and Allies Challenge “Quantity Before Quality” and Nullification of State Safeguards in Charter-Expansion Bill

Texas AFT spokesman Ted Melina Raab testified In the House Public Education Committee this evening against SB 2, the ill-advised bill to expand the number of charter schools substantially and to let school districts nullify Education Code safeguards, such as class-size limits and teacher certification, at a sizable proportion of their campuses. Melina Raab noted the state’s failure to oversee...

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House Hearing on Charter Expansion, Nullification of Quality Safeguards for Neighborhood Schools

SB 2 by Sen. Dan Patrick would speed up the indiscriminate proliferation of charter schools. The bill stresses quantity over quality, promoting multiple modes of charter expansion without a commensurate increase in state oversight and quality control. The worst feature of the bill gives school boards the ability, by a bare majority vote, to declare many of their campuses exempt...

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Attack on Public Education Continues—Bills Coming Up Tuesday

The Senate Education Committee on Tuesday could bring back up for a vote a bill by Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) that would authorize state takeover of neighborhood schools and the handover of those schools to charter and other private operators. The bill is SB 1718. Another pending bill in this committee is SB 1575 by Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), a...

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Onslaught Against Public Education Continues in Senate Committee

A steady stream of pseudo-reform legislation promoted by would-be privatizers of public education will continue flowing in the Texas Senate Education Committee during the week of April 1. SB 1298 by Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), up for a hearing on April 2, would authorize state-funded online instruction up to full-time for students now home-schooled or in private school, and the...

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“National Best Practices in Education Reform” Do Not Include Vouchers, Privatization—Let Your State Legislators Know It

Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), chair of the Senate Education Committee, likes to label his policy preferences as “national best practices in education reform.” But he has not yet sold a majority of his legislative colleagues on his agenda, which includes private-school vouchers, privatization via charter expansion, shutdown and conversion of neighborhood schools into privately run charter schools, and more. Hence...

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Texas AFT Calls on Senate Budget Writers to Restore Education Funding Chopped Last Session

In testimony before the state Senate Finance Committee, Texas AFT legislative counsel Patty Quinzi today made the case for fully restoring the educational funding that was cut last session by the legislature. Quinzi said: “Texas AFT urges you to recognize that this legislature has the ability, with the revenue available to you, to undo the damaging biennial cuts of $5.4...

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Pre-Filed Bills Address Class Size, Student Health and Fitness

State Rep. Carol Alvarado, a Houston Democrat, on Thursday pre-filed five education-related bills. Two relate to class size, two to graduation requirements, and one to required physical activity in middle school. Alvarado’s HB 273 would extend state law’s requirement of a 22-to-1 pupil-teacher ratio to fifth grade. Currently the 22-to-1 cap applies only in grades K-4. Her HB 274 would...

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We’re Not Feeling the Love, Somehow

Candidate Romney Sideswipes Teachers’ Unions in Foreign-Policy Debate:  In Monday night’s presidential debate ostensibly devoted to foreign policy, candidate Mitt Romney managed to slip in one of his campaign’s standard attack lines against teachers’ unions. Said Romney: “…we’re going to have to have training programs that work for our workers and schools that finally put the parents and the teachers...

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New Report Compiles Data on Teacher Layoffs, Inflated Class Sizes

The White House over the weekend released a report documenting the extensive damage done nationwide by state and local budget cuts like those enacted in Texas last year. AFT President Randi Weingarten responded: “This report spells out the terrible toll that the 300,000 teacher layoffs have wrought: Class sizes have swelled, and programs like early childhood education, art, music and...

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The High Cost of Increasing Class Size

A new report from a centrist policy group called the Hamilton Project concludes that cutting state education costs by increasing class sizes is a classic case of false economy—saving some money in the short run, but at a big price over the long haul. The authors estimate that the increase in the number of pupils per teacher nationwide from 2009...

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