Topic: Uncategorized

Hotline Schedule

The Hotline for the next couple of weeks will be published as the occasion warrants. Rest assured Texas AFT will continue to keep you posted in timely fashion on educational issues coming up in the state legislature, implementation of recently enacted state legislation, and noteworthy local and federal policy matters as well.

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Special Weekend Hotline

Be on the lookout for a special weekend edition of the Hotline to prepare you for battles ahead in the coming week at the capitol. Preview: Three voucher bills and a bad bill on teacher evaluation are on Monday’s calendar of bills that could be considered by the full Senate. The House Public Education Committee on Tuesday will hear testimony...

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Major Bills on Testing, Budget Moving to House and Senate Floor

A unanimous vote of the House Public Education Committee on Tuesday launched a major bill on graduation pathways, accountability testing, and school ratings toward the House floor. HB 5 by Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen), chair of the committee, would cut end-of-course tests required for high-school graduation to five from the current 15. Current minimum, recommended, and distinguished graduation plans...

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Three of the Big Issues of 2013 Coming Up for Hearings February 18 and 19

The Texas legislature is almost 40 days into its 140-day regular session for 2013, but about 98 percent of the legislature’s work lies ahead.  Next week choices to be made about several major issues will come into sharper focus, as the House and Senate hold hearings on education spending, funding and policy for the Teacher Retirement System, and fixing the...

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Senate Education Committee to Hear SB 3 on Coursework Required for Graduation

State Sen. Dan Patrick has scheduled a full committee hearing for Tuesday on his SB 3, a bill that would move away from the current standard (i.e., “recommended”) graduation plan’s requirement of four full-year courses in the four core subjects of English, math, science, and social studies. SB 3 would replace the recommended, minimum, and distinguished graduation plans in current...

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Hotline Hiatus

The Hotline will take a break from regular publication for the holidays, resuming on January 7. As always, special issues of the Hotline may still appear during this holiday hiatus, as the occasion warrants.

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What Does Inadequate, Inequitable Education Funding Look Like? A Texas Portrait by the Numbers

Testimony has barely started this week in the school-finance lawsuit filed by hundreds of Texas school districts, but the very first witness in the case already has sketched indirectly the outlines of a quite unflattering portrait of the state’s funding system. Former state demographer Steve Murdock, now director of the Hobby Center for the Study of Texas at Rice University...

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Good Deal on Home Mortgages for Texas Educators Just Got Better

The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) is now offering a lower mortgage loan interest rate of 3.5 percent to Texans interested in purchasing a home using the Professional Educators Home Loan Program. The lower interest rate also is available with a grant equal to 5 percent of the loan amount, which can be used towards a downpayment and closing...

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Two Notable Changes in Law on Student Discipline Take Effect for New School Year

Anti-Bullying: HB 1942 by Republican Rep. Diane Patrick of Arlington (Senate sponsor:  Democrat Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio), enacted in 2011, makes significant new state law on the issue of bullying. As of the start of the new 2012-2013 school year, HB 1942 establishes a comprehensive definition of bullying, including bullying by electronic means (so-called cyber-bullying), and requires school districts...

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School-Finance Hearing Recap Tomorrow

Tomorrow’s Hotline will catch you up on the July 30 hearing of the legislature’s Joint Select Committee on Public School Finance. Favorite moment of the hearing:  European expert Andreas Schleicher’s patient explanation to Sen. Dan Patrick, Republican of Houston, that “many high-performing systems have very strong unions.”

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