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Posts Tagged ‘Texas AFT’

School districts deal with ACA paperwork

The headline for this story says that Texas school districts are “struggling” to deal with requirements of the Affordable Care Act, but there’s not much evidence of actual struggles in the story itself. Texas school districts are scrambling to meet an Affordable Care Act provision that requires them to offer health insurance to thousands of […]

Modified teacher retirement bill passes Senate

Modified again, this time enough to garner support from the teachers. Teachers, the state of Texas and school districts all would pay more to help support the Teacher Retirement System of Texas under a bill passed by the Texas Senate Wednesday. Under Senate Bill 1458, the $117 billion TRS fund would get a boost from […]

Senate to tap that Rainy Day Fund

It is just sitting there, not doing any good if it’s unused. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, laid out an ambitious plan to spend $6 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund on Thursday morning while also setting the stage for a serious debate in the remaining weeks of the session on […]

Early voting ends in SD06

Early voting ended in the SD06 runoff yesterday. As of when I went to bed, the final daily totals had not been sent out – the daily totals as of Monday, which are here, hit my inbox at 9:30 AM Tuesday, so I don’t really expect them till some time today. I’ll update this post […]

Meet the new budget

Same as the old budget. Republican leaders in both chambers of the Legislature on Monday offered spare first drafts of the state’s next two-year budget that continue $5.4 billion in cuts to public education made last session and freeze funding for an embattled state agency set up to find a cure for cancer. Upending recent […]

The revenue estimate is in

And under normal circumstances it would be very good news. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, laying out the parameters for state spending on the eve of the legislative session, said Monday that the rebounding Texas economy gives lawmakers $8.8 billion unallocated in state coffers for this budget period and an improving picture for the next two […]

Some children left behind

Oops. Nearly half the public schools across Texas failed to meet tougher federal academic standards this year, according to preliminary data released Wednesday. The failures spiked sharply from last year, when a quarter of the state’s schools missed the mark. Nearly all the districts in the Houston area earned failing grades under the federal No […]

Make sure you measure everything

A lot of groups are measuring a lot of things related to the state’s cuts to public education funding, but there’s one big thing not mentioned in this story that needs to be accurately tracked as well. In March, the Texas Education Agency will release the official numbers on school district employment for the 2011-12 […]

The job market for teachers

There are still some jobs available for new teachers and teachers looking for a new gig, but not nearly as many as there have been in the past. Because of the Legislature’s initial $4 billion cut from public school funding, districts are slicing at least 6 percent from their budgets for the first year of […]

Eissler changes class size bill

Hair Balls was first with the news. Rep. Rob Eissler (R- The Woodlands) whose House Bill 18 wanted to move the state to a cap of 25 students in each classroom, [Friday] instead made a floor substitution which only mildly tweaked the present classroom size regulations calling for a cap of 22 students in grades […]

Rally redux

Many of the folks who rallied in Austin on Saturday stayed around for an encore today. “At a time when our educators and our educational system is under attack more than ever before, we are here to let our lawmakers in Texas know that our children should not be victims and we, as educators, are […]

Performance pay for teachers

I’m very wary of this. Pay for Texas public school teachers should be connected to appraisals of their work and other factors instead of the 60-year-old salary schedule based on seniority, former U.S. Education Secretary Rod Paige and other school reformers said Monday. They want more flexibility for school districts to base teacher pay on […]

School districts begin preparing for the inevitable

If nothing else, we have a clear winner in the furloughs versus layoffs debate. School superintendents want more freedom in determining class sizes and permission to cut employee pay or to furlough teachers and other district employees, which school boards cannot do today under state law. School districts also could save money by using the […]

We will keep trying the same solutions until they work

Speaker Straus says that all options are on the table for dealing with the budget shortfall, as long as we’re talking about spending cuts. The table isn’t big enough to accommodate any other kind of options. Straus, R-San Antonio, said in a rare appearance before the Appropriations Committee that the trick will be to write […]

No race to the top

By now you’ve probably heard the news that Governor Perry has directed the Texas to not compete for “Race to the Top” stimulus funds. Gov. Rick Perry said today that Texas will not compete for up to $700 million in federal grant funding for schools. His decision to snub the Race to the Top grant […]

Evaluating teachers

This is sure to be contentious, but I think it’s the right direction. Teachers in Houston ISD could lose their jobs for failing to improve student test scores under a controversial proposal slated for a school board vote Thursday. HISD Superintendent Terry Grier’s plan to tie teachers’ job evaluations to their students’ progress on standardized […]

No check for you!

Nice little bit of holiday cheer for Texas’ retired public employees this week. Retired public employees discovered yesterday that they would not receive additional $500 checks this year. According to Senator Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, they shouldn’t hold their breath for more benefits next cycle either. “I don’t think we’ll be able to,” he said. “The […]