Austin hearings on high-quality education models, virtual schools, pensions, health care, school aid

The Texas Legislature is not in session, but key committees are meeting and setting the stage for policy-making when lawmakers convene in regular session next January. On April 4, the Senate Education Committee will take public testimony on high-quality education models and on virtual schools. Both labels have been used at times in misleading fashion to promote assorted versions of education privatization. Texas AFT will be on hand to point out real, high-quality alternatives to these bad options.

Later in the same day, the Senate State Affairs Committee will meet to “examine and assess public pension systems in Texas,” addressing different types of retirement plans, the actuarial assumptions used by retirement systems and the consequences of changing those assumptions,” and other topics. The implementation of last year’s legislative changes in the health plan for retired school employees is another major topic to be addressed. Public testimony will be taken, and Texas AFT will be there to speak out for overdue increases in state contributions for your pensions and health care.
One day later, the Texas Commission on Public School Finance will meet again in Austin for further discussion of potential recommendations to overhaul school funding in the 2019 legislative session. At this writing the specific agenda has yet to be announced.