Sunday, May 5, 2013

Save Texas Schools Legislative Update

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 warning. 

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 through. 

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   

 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

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

 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! 

Allen Weeks
Chair, Save Texas Schools