Just the Highlights

Gov. Abbot’s year-long teacher task force put this very obvious suggestion at the top of its list; unions, employees, families, communities, and school administrators have been shouting it loud and clear for ages; and the data from schools state-wide have all been making the same point: Increase.  Teacher.  Pay.

It didn’t happen, natch.  Sigh.

Media outlets everywhere are busy telling us all about how teacher raises have been hijacked by voucher proponents—despite a historic, incredible budget surplus—so I won’t bore you by explaining that fiasco here, other than noting that teachers are the only state employee not to get a raise out of this legislative session, an indignity that is truly baffling and can only lead to the further erosion of Texas public schools.  Likewise, the basic student allotment was not increased despite the obvious (i.e., inflation, common sense, decency, etc.).

Vouchers appear poised for a special session, so there is a possibility that teacher raises and school finance may still be addressed.  However, given the tenacity of the opposing legislators and their polarized agendas, I’m a little worried.

In the meantime, let’s take a brief look at a handful of things that were accomplished on behalf of Texas students during the 88th Legislative session.

  • At least one armed security officer at every school and a silent panic alert device in every classroom
  • Mental health training for some district employees
  • Chaplains can now serve as school counselors
  • A ratings system for all school library books to keep sexually explicit content off the shelves
  • Investments in open-source curriculum and instructional material

Stay tuned.  Hopefully, there will be more updates to come.

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