Topic: Safe Schools Act

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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Disciplinary Authority for Bus Drivers, Deadline for Employee Grievance Appeals

There is new progress to report on two beneficial bills in the Texas legislature. SB 1541 by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio), a bill to reinforce disciplinary authority for drivers to maintain safety and order on school buses, won unanimous support in the House Public Education Committee. House author of the companion bill, HB 2367, is Rep. Alma...

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Senate Committee Okays Safe Schools Act Training for Administrators

Many school administrators need instruction in the proper enforcement of the Safe Schools Act—particularly the important distinction between ordinary disciplinary referrals to the principal’s office and formal removals of disruptive students initiated by classroom teachers. HB 1952, a bill by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), would address this need by requiring periodic training in the use of the Safe Schools Act...

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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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Common Sense on Guns: Texas AFT President Linda Bridges to Speak at April 6 Rally

Texas AFT President Linda Bridges will be speaking out for sensible gun policies on Saturday, April 6, at a 1 p.m. rally on the south steps of the state capitol. The rally is being sponsored by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (see www.momsdemandaction.org), a grass-roots group that sprang up after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary...

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Some Dubious Senate Bills on the Move

SB 1408 by Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) would usher in A-to-F school accountability ratings based on performance standards to be determined by the commissioner of education. Texas AFT opposed the bill in committee because it leaves the commissioner free to continue the state’s over-reliance on students’ test scores in rating schools and imposing punitive sanctions, including school closure and handover...

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House Committee Hears Testimony on Testing, Discipline Authority for Drivers and Teachers:

On Tuesday the House Public Education Committee heard testimony on a couple of dozen bills. We’ll note here three of particular interest to Texas AFT members. HB 504 by Rep. Ana Hernandez Luna (D-Houston) would prohibit the extension of state-mandated or district-mandated standardized achievement testing into pre-k and kindergarten. Zeph Capo, vice president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, said...

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House Public Education Committee Considers Bills to Ensure Safety on School Buses and Reduce Overtesting in Lower Grades

The Texas House Public Education Committee will meet Tuesday afternoon with a long agenda to consider several key bills, including proposed legislation that addresses keeping our school buses safe and bills seeking to reduce overtesting in grades pre-K through 8. Send an online letter to your legislators urging support for House Bill 2367 by Alma Allen (D-Houston), which strengthens the...

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Guns in School: Rely on Public-Safety Professionals, Not Teachers, for Armed Protection

Texas AFT legislative counsel Patty Quinzi testified today against SB 17 by Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), a bill proposing state-paid training for teachers who hold concealed-handgun licenses and who agree to train and serve as armed responders to protect students from attack. In a recent Texas AFT survey, Quinzi noted, 65 percent of survey respondents said local law-enforcement officers and...

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Texas AFT Testifies That Peace Officers, Not Armed Teachers, Are Needed to Secure Schools

Texas AFT testified today in a House committee hearing against proposals that would encourage schools to rely on arming teachers to protect schoolchildren.  Texas AFT legislative spokesman Ted Melina Raab said:  “Guns, except in the hands of fully trained law-enforcement officers, do not belong in our schools." Melina Raab noted that Texas AFT has just completed a survey of members...

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