Topic: Safe Schools Act

Ebola-related Training and Preparedness—Key Components of “Safe Schools Week”

Texas AFT issued a press release today marking the occasion of “Safe Schools Week” with a call for Ebola training and preparedness. Here is the text of today’s release: October 19-25 is Safe Schools Week—an initiative of the Texas Education Agency and the Texas School Safety Center to “to develop robust emergency operations plans for a wide range of possible...

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Legislative Hearings Have Implications for Rainy Day Fund, School Discipline, State Testing

Three Texas House committee hearings on October 8 foreshadowed themes that will occupy a lot of the legislature’s time in the 2015 regular session that begins in January. A special committee hearing on transportation funding turned into a broader discussion of the future of the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund, also known less formally as the Rainy Day Fund. A joint...

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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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Texas Senate Committee Takes Up Issues of Student Discipline

In a June 3 hearing, the Texas Senate Committee on Jurisprudence focused on the implementation of two new pieces of legislation (SB 393 and SB 1114) that have sharply reduced the use of misdemeanor ticketing as a law-enforcement tool on the campuses of Texas public schools. While the two overlapping laws have left pathways open to filing criminal complaints, or...

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AFT President’s Austin Q&A Explores Perception and Reality of Public Schools and School Reform

AFT President Randi Weingarten, in Austin last week for two national education conferences plus school visits involving our Education Austin local affiliate, took time as well for an interesting Q&A session on education issues with the editors of the capital city’s main newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman. Over the past weekend excerpts from that session were featured on the paper’s editorial...

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Federal Recommendations on Student Discipline—Where Texas Stands

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have come out with some non-binding recommendations urging local school districts not to turn school-discipline issues into criminal-justice matters except in cases of serious misconduct. That philosophy already is reflected in Texas law. Here in Texas since 1995 we have had a Safe Schools Act that emphasizes educational...

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Texas AFT Takes a Leading Role in Safe-Schools Initiatives

The week of October 20-26 has been proclaimed Safe Schools Week by the Texas Education Agency, which began this annual observance with a round-up of resources available to help schools combat bullying. Texas AFT has been a statewide leader for more than two decades in promoting all aspects of “safe schools,” starting with our successful campaign for the enactment of...

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Four Texas AFT Priority Bills Signed by the Governor

On a happier note, we are pleased to report the governor has signed into law four bills on the Texas AFT priority list in the regular session. These four are: --SB 1541 by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) and House author Rep. Alma Allen (D-Houston), a bill to bolster authority for drivers to enforce discipline on board their...

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Discipline Authority for School Bus Drivers En Route to Governor

SB 1541 by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) and House author Rep. Alma Allen (D-Houston) is a bill to bolster authority for drivers to enforce discipline on board their school buses and protect students’ safety. SB 1541 was finally passed by the legislature today. We are pleased to report that the bill is now en route to the...

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Safe Schools Act Training for Principals Wins Final Passage

Whether due to error or confusion or some other cause, many administrators responsible for enforcing teachers’ discretionary authority to remove disruptive students fail to follow the law. HB 1952 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) would help to correct that problem by requiring principals and other administrators charged with enforcing the law to undergo Safe Schools Act training, with specific emphasis...

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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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