Topic: Community Schools

Bright Spot–Community-School Model Gets a Hearing

In contrast with the series of unfortunate bills described above, SB 1483 by Sen. Sylvia Garcia (D-Houston) is one of the best bills of the 2015 session, and it has Texas AFT’s enthusiastic support.  While the other bills merely masquerade as school-improvement proposals, the community-school model in SB 1483 is the real deal. This “all hands on deck” approach is...

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Texas AFT’s Malfaro Calls for Community-School Initiative in Houston Chronicle Op-Ed

Last week, as the Texas Senate Education Committee was poised to consider a bad “parent trigger” bill that would help private operators take over struggling neighborhood schools, Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro proposed a far better option in an opinion column published by the Houston Chronicle. In that article entitled “Struggling schools don’t need labels or stigma,” Malfaro,  a former...

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Texas AFT Members Rally at Capitol and Send a Message: “You Know Better, Do Better!”

For the second Monday in a row, more than a thousand Texas AFT members came to their state capitol building to rally for increased education funding and sensible strategies for educational improvement. This time around they were joined on the grand front steps of the capitol by legislators who are fighting for bills that embody Texas AFT’s agenda. These lawmakers,...

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Texas AFT Members, More Than a Thousand Strong, Rally at the State Capitol

More than 1,000 members of Texas AFT from all across the state gathered at the state capitol Monday for meetings with their senators and representatives and a rousing rally in the capitol rotunda. Members called on lawmakers to use the state’s robust treasury to “reclaim the promise” of public education in Texas that has been undercut by years of neglect...

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Texas Public Education at a Crossroads, Part Two

Our last Hotline outlined the comprehensive attack on public schools embodied in many bills already filed in the 2015 legislature. That attack underwritten by moneyed interests has three basic elements:  underfunding; then declaring failure based on misuse of test scores; and ultimately privatizing and deprofessionalizing public education. But there’s an alternative, positive agenda worth fighting for, one that would reclaim...

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Bipartisan Bills Promote Community Schools, a Proven Way to Help Students Succeed

Texas AFT welcomed the filing Wednesday of two bipartisan bills—HB 1891 and HB 1892 by Democratic Rep. Eddie Rodriguez of Austin and Republican Rep. Marsha Farney of Georgetown—that would foster the creation of “Community Schools” as a proven tool for school improvement, especially at struggling campuses. Texas AFT President Louis Malfaro said: These bills will encourage local initiatives to marshal...

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Coalition for Community Schools Calls for Federal Policy Shift to Address “Whole Child”

The national Coalition for Community Schools has called for a new emphasis on school-community partnerships as Congress begins another attempt to rewrite federal education law. This community-school approach makes the neighborhood school a community hub for a full array educational, health, employment and other services for students and their families, with grass-roots decision-making shared by parents, campus faculty and staff,...

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Coalition for Public Schools Confronts Voucher Agenda with Facts and Better Options

At a December 2 capitol briefing held by the Coalition for Public Schools legislators and legislative staffers got the lowdown on private-school voucher programs and on better options that—unlike voucher schemes—actually deliver improved education for students. Leading scholars from across the nation reported that research on voucher schemes shows they offer no academic advantage over the public schools. Despite claims...

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Texas AFT Testifies on School Governance—Beware of Top-Down Fads, Be Open to Community Schools

At a Texas House Public Education Committee hearing on school governance today, Texas AFT advised lawmakers to be wary of “magic bullet” fads imposed from the top down by education bureaucrats in Washington or Austin or by local elites. Texas AFT legislative spokesman Ted Melina Raab urged committee members instead to support initiatives coming up from the grass roots—from the...

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Breakthrough for Community Schools in Texas House

By a vote of 80 to 55, the Texas House Thursday night gave initial approval to a bipartisan bill authorizing a community-school alternative to the punitive sanctions currently required under Texas law when a school is rated academically unacceptable for two consecutive years.  HB 1891 by Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) drew bipartisan support for the idea that there’s a better...

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