The 85th Legislative Session Just Got a Second Wind

Governor Abbott announced Tuesday that the legislature will meet for at least 30 more days, beginning July 18th. Among the 20 items Abbott wants passed in the special legislative session are two education issues Texas Aspires will be following closely: a teacher pay increase and a call to give administrators more flexibility in personnel decisions.
As the most important in-school determinant of student success, addressing teacher quality is one of the best ways we can improve education in Texas. Valuing the contributions of teachers by improving the way they are compensated is a worthwhile goal, and we are glad Governor Abbott has brought that conversation to the forefront again.

Opponents of the measure call it an “unfunded mandate” because the proposal includes no additional appropriation. Advocates for productivity, however, have long said the state needs to take a look at the way Texas schools spend money and how those behaviors impact student results. Shifting more funding away from non-academic expenses and into classrooms is a good place to start.

Additionally, we applaud Governor Abbott’s efforts to restore flexibility to school leaders to make critical personnel choices. Making employment decisions at home allows schools and districts to ensure the quality of the educators they employ and continue improving student achievement.

Texas Aspires is hopeful that the upcoming special session will be a productive month that amplifies the issue of teacher quality and provides us time to take necessary steps to improve it. Working together, we can make it happen.

We believe every Texas child, regardless of race, ethnicity or zip code, deserves a quality education. You can help make that happen.