Topic: Teachers

Lawsuit settlement ends use of value-added evaluations for Houston teachers

In another huge victory for the right of teachers to be fairly evaluated, Houston ISD agreed, in a settlement of a federal lawsuit brought by seven Houston teachers and our local union-- the Houston Federation of Teachers--not to use value-added scores to terminate a teacher as long as the teacher is unable to independently test or challenge the score. The most significant blow in this lawsuit was...

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House Public Education Committee hearing confirmed for October 12; Certification board to consider rules implementing new improper-relationship sanctions

House Public Education Committee hearing confirmed for October 12 in Austin:  The Public Education Committee of the Texas House has confirmed it will meet in the state Capitol on October 12 to begin weighing the educational impacts of Hurricane Harvey.  The hearing notice describes the topic as follows: Determine, to the extent possible, the scope of financial losses, including facilities,...

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TEA offers to waive required service days for hurricane-hit districts; House speaker looks to “prevent unintended punitive consequences” of accountability system

TEA offers to waive required service days for hurricane-hit districts, but no change in exam schedule or test-based ratings:   Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath has delivered good news and bad news to hurricane-impacted school districts and their teachers this week. On Tuesday in a formal letter to superintendents Morath announced that waivers of the 187-day service mandate for educators in...

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AFT launches “Essentials for Kids” to provide free supplies to schools: Educators and kids affected by Hurricane Harvey will be initial focus

See below for information on how to apply. The American Federation of Teachers, First Book, and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation Wednesday launched a targeted effort to deliver brand-new books and basic-needs items, in coordination with first responders, educators and volunteers, to areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey. The partners simultaneously announced the Essentials for Kids Fund, a national initiative...

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News on retiree health care, TEA recapture relief, and new laws effective Sept. 1

Retiree health-care costs on TRS Board agenda:  On September 1 the trustees of the state Teacher Retirement System will confirm the new rates and benefit structures for the TRS-Care health plan for school retirees for calendar years 2018-2019. The revised rates and benefits will reflect the infusion of $212 million in state funds by the Legislature in the recent special session...

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Funding Bill for School-Finance Increases Advancing in House

The House Appropriations Committee voted 22 to 0 today for HB 30 by Rep. John Zerwas (R-Richmond), a bill that would fund school-finance improvements to the tune of $1.9 billion for the coming fiscal 2018-2019 budget period beginning on September 1. The funding bill has strong bipartisan support, as evidenced by that unanimous committee vote. The funding in HB 30...

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Shifting Momentum at the State Capitol

Some lessons are emerging from the first, Senate-dominated week of the current special legislative session at the state Capitol. Number one:  Strong-arm tactics will only get the governor and lieutenant governor so far. Number two: Counter-pressure works, especially coming from rank-and-file education employees and retirees and friends of public education. Certainly Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been able to whip...

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Bad Bills in Texas Senate on Vouchers, Payroll Deduction Meet Bipartisan Resistance

Over the weekend and on Monday, bad bills in the Texas Senate promoting private-school vouchers and attacking your freedom to use payroll deduction met serious bipartisan resistance from grass-roots Texans. So did other measures, including an unfunded pay-raise proposal that would not deliver a real raise to teachers. Meanwhile, in the Texas House, opposition to vouchers, disdain for discriminatory legislation...

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