Topic: Resources

Enrollment Trends in Texas Public Schools

An October 2011 report by the Texas Education Agency on trends in school enrollment points up the rapid rise in the number of students in our state’s public schools--and the rapidly rising percentages of economically disadvantaged students among them. Over the ten-year period from school year 2000-01 to school year 2010-11, enrollment grew by 862,184 students, or 21.2 percent.  At...

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What Do You Think? Let Your Voice Be Heard on Current Issues Via “AFT Voices”

On the “AFT Voices” Web site (http://www.aft.org/voices/), AFT members like you are invited to say what you think about a wide array of current issues affecting teachers, paraprofessionals, and all school-related personnel.  Your opinions are valued and need to be heard. So here’s a menu of the current crop of questions you are invited to answer—and we encourage you to...

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Impact of State Budget Cuts: Last Chance to Have Your Say Via Online Survey

We’re coming down to the final few days of our online survey regarding the impact of recent state education cuts in your school districts. Thanks are due to the thousands of you who have already responded.  If you have not yet participated, please do so now. Please help Texas AFT gauge and chronicle the impact of the $5.4 billion in...

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School-Finance Analysts Tally Staffing Reductions in Wake of Budget Cuts—Tell Your Story

The school-finance specialists at the Austin consulting firm of Moak, Casey & Associates have a new report out offering an early look at school districts’ responses to the state budget cuts of $5.4 billion for the 2012-2013 biennium. The report says: “Districts responding to a recent survey on staffing practices indicated that they are employing 11,833 fewer staff members than...

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Help Parents Fight Corporate Bid to Escape School Taxes—Sign Online Petition

Tomorrow the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality meeting in Austin will have an unusual audience—a whole passel of parents who are none too happy about the bid by Valero Energy Corporation for a tax refund from TCEQ that would come at the expense of Texas school districts. The parents gathering at TCEQ on Wednesday are part of the Texas Organizing...

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Impact of State Budget Cuts—Class Sizes Ballooning, Local Tax Rates Headed Back to the Max; Help Us Tell the Story by Filling Out Our Survey

While the legislative perpetrators of $5.4 billion in state budget cuts for Texas public education try to sell the myth that there were no cuts at all enacted this year, the reality of those cuts is hitting home in school districts and classrooms across Texas. In grades K-4, state class-size limits of 22 pupils per teacher in each classroom have...

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Help Document the Impact of State Education Cuts: Take Texas AFT Survey Online

Help us gauge and chronicle the impact of $5.4 billion in state education cuts by  taking a short online survey.  Texas AFT wants to know how these cuts already are affecting the schoolchildren, parents, teachers, other school employees, and neighborhood schools in your community.  We intend to share this information far and wide with lawmakers, the media, and everyone concerned...

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Paraprofessionals, Have Your Say: Working With Students With Disabililties

A new question has been posted this week on the “AFT Voices” Web site, specifically directed to paraprofessionals who deal with students with disabilities. Here’s the question:  “What is the most pressing issue facing paraprofessionals who work with students with disabilities?”  You can have your say by leaving a comment at this site:  http://www.aft.org/voices/singlequestion.cfm?qid=112. To see all the prior questions...

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Sizing Up a Proposed Federal Teacher-Prep Initiative

A new report from the U.S. Department of Education out today calls for greater accountability on the part of teacher-preparation programs and for grant programs targeted to increase diversity within the teaching corps and to aid states in establishing rigorous certification systems. The American Federation of Teachers said today that the feds are right to make improvements in teacher preparation...

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Poverty Data Show Rising Need for Community Supports for Student Success

A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau showed a sharp increase of 2.6 million in the number of Americans living below the poverty line ($22,314 for a family of four).  A total of 46.2 million Americans were in poverty in 2010—15.1 percent of the U.S. population. The percentage is even higher among children—22 percent living in poverty. That’s 16.4...

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U.S. Higher Education: High Quality Undercut by Disinvestment

Sometimes it seems as if the powers that be are committed to a policy of disinvestment in higher education.  Here in Texas we have just entered a new two-year budget period in which the Texas legislature and governor have eliminated 43,000 college scholarships from the main state program of college grants that are intended to make higher education affordable for...

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National AFT Leader, in Austin on Back-to-School Tour, Spotlights Teachers and Bus Drivers “Making A Difference Every Day”

AFT Executive Vice President Lorretta Johnson was in Austin on September 7, where she visited with drivers at a school bus barn and toured an elementary school where an innovative partnership involving teachers, administrators, and the business community supports the efforts of successful educators who are helping to raise student academic achievement. Johnson's visit to Austin was part of the...

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