The following legislative update was received from "Save Texas Schools."
Dear Save Texas Schools Supporter,
We’re in last few weeks of the legislative
session, a time when things move quickly and unpredictably. Bills we thought
were dead may be resurrected as amendments to other bills. Legislation that
wasn’t on the radar may pop onto the House or Senate floor with little
Through the work of public school advocates
like you, there has been significant progress this session to restore funding
and pare back standardized tests, but gains in either area could be erased at
any time over the coming weeks.
Please stay alert and be ready to respond
quickly to any calls to action – and please keep up the message to restore the
full $5.4 billion in funding that was cut! The message is getting
Take 10 For Kids and Schools!
Today, we’re asking you to take ten
minutes for six urgent action items:
1. Contact Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst to let House Bill 5 to
come to the Senate floor for an immediate vote. HB 5 significantly reduces
the number of required End of Course exams (EOCs) from 15 to 5 and provides
more flexibility for graduation requirements, allowing students to pursue
academic interests in greater depth. We can’t let Dewhurst sit on this one!
Please call or email the Lieutenant Governor at 512-463-0001 or http://www.ltgov.state.tx.us/contact.php
2. Contact your State
Senator to vote FOR House Bill 5 when it comes to the floor, and AGAINST any
amendments that would allow more than five end-of-course exams (EOCs). Find
your State Senator at http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
3. Email the members of the Senate Education Committee to vote YES on
House Bill 2836 and allow it to move on for a final vote of the full Senate.
This important bill reduces the number of standardized tests for students in
grades 3-8. It also cuts back on the amount of required testing time and limits
the number of benchmark tests a district can administer to these younger
students. The bill passed unanimously in the House – now we’ve got to get it
out of committee and onto the Senate floor! Email all committee members by
pasting the below block of addresses into your “to” line.
4. Contact your House Rep
to vote NO on Senate Bill 1718. This bill would allow public schools
to be taken away from local school districts and given to private charter
operators after three consecutive years of low performance (remember that Texas
schools may be labeled low performing if as few as one or two students fail in
a single testing area). It would completely remove schools from local control
and is similar to a Louisiana law that has resulted in the lowest performing
district in that state, with massive charter failures affecting thousands of students.
Find your House rep at http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx
5. Contact the House
Public Education Committee to vote NO on House Bill 300. This bill
would allow a gubernatorial appointee to remove schools from local school
boards and turn them over to “alternative governance.” Under this bill, the
schools would not have to hire certified teachers, could apply “selective”
admissions requirements, and would be free to ignore the state curriculum,
class size caps, attendance requirements, and the state’s own accountability system.
Yet all this would be paid for with state funding, further draining badly
needed resources from our public schools. Contact the House committee members
to oppose HB 300 at these email addresses:
6. Contact House Public
Education Committee to vote NO on SB 1263 and HB 2976. Both of these so-called “parent
trigger” bills would allow schools to be removed from locally elected school
boards and turned over to private charter operators, with no accountability
once that occurs. They would likely hit low-income campuses the hardest. Please
contact committee members at:
Thanks for everything you do for Texas
schools and kids!
Chair, Save Texas Schools