Dear Friends of Save Texas Schools,
With the school year now in full swing, the impacts of state budget cuts are still being felt in many classrooms. While some districts gained badly needed financial help from the 2013 legislature, not all were so lucky. Across the state, students, educators and parents anxiously wait for a final court ruling – one we hope will finally mean fair and full education funding for every Texas student.
In the meantime, a few quick updates…
Weigh In Now on Proposed Graduation Plan Rules: Email the State Board of Education or testify on November 20th!
After statewide public pressure, the Texas legislature last spring passed House Bill 5, an omnibus education package that reduced standardized testing for Texas high school students and revised graduation requirements for all students entering ninth grade in the 2014-15 school year.
In theory, the revised graduation requirements were intended to give students more flexibility to pursue academic and career goals. But as always, the devil is in the details. Rules for the new graduation plans are still being hammered between the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the State Board of Education (SBOE). Draft rules were recently released for public review. http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=25769806149
You have two ways to weigh in on the proposed graduation plan rules:
- Email your comments to SBOESUPPORT@tea.state.tx.us
- Testify at the SBOE public hearing on November 20, 9am, Room 1-104, William B. Travis State Office Building, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin. See agenda: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index.aspx?id=6845
See rules for testifying: http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=25769804082
To review the proposed graduation plan rules or learn more about HB 5 implementation, visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=25769806149
Judge To Reopen School Finance Suit in January 2014
On January 21, 2014, State District Judge John Dietz will reopen the case challenging Texas school finance system in a new round of legal proceedings that could last up to four weeks. Dietz has already found the state’s school funding system unconstitutional, but wants to consider actions by the 2013 legislature before issuing his final ruling. That ruling, now expect in spring 2014, will likely head straight to the Texas Supreme Court on appeal. Stay tuned for further developments.
For information on the state’s school finance system and legal arguments in the case, visit http://www.texastribune.org/public-ed/texas-school-finance-trial/
Save Texas Schools Gearing Up for 2015
Whatever the court’s final decision, we already know we’ll have our work cut out for us in 2015. Many of the bad bills staved off last session are likely to reappear. Halloween has been over for weeks, but somehow those zombie voucher bills keep springing to life. And let’s not even think about Night of the Living STAAR tests!
All kidding aside, it will take some serious work to hang onto the gains of last session and make more progress for Texas students. That’s why Save Texas Schools is already gearing up for the 2015 legislative session, with plans for regional workshops and other ways to amp up the volume so our leaders can hear us loud and clear. Stay tuned for details!
Donate Today to Save Texas Schools!
Save Texas Schools needs your support to continue the fight for an excellent education for all Texas students. Please help with by making a donation today athttp://savetxschools.org/get-involved/make-a-donation/
Thanks for everything you do for Texas schools and kids!
Chair, Save Texas Schools