Runoff Elections—You Must Be Present to Win
The ATPE Podcast
by atpe
1w ago
Following a disappointing Texas primary election in March, it appears the Texas House will be far less friendly to public education going forward. Some of these races have been tight, and in such a unique election season, we have seen millions of dollars poured in from out-of-state donors to spread anti-public education propaganda. Originally attracted to Texas races as voucher proponents, these non-Texans continue to run attack ad after attack ad against public education-friendly candidates on issues completely unrelated to public schools. You’ve heard that voter turnout is the key to getting ..read more
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Upcoming School Board and Bond Elections
The ATPE Podcast
by atpe
1M ago
You might be asking yourself, “Didn’t I just vote in March?” Well, we hope the answer to that question is yes, but public education is always on the ballot, and there are two more elections in the month of May that are just as important for Texas educators. Early voting for the May 4 election runs from April 22–30, and depending on where you live, you might have a school board trustee, bond, and/or an appraisal district board election on your ballot. Bond dollars finance maintenance, new buildings, sports stadiums, technology, and more. This can be especially important for school staff, too, b ..read more
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Rethinking Professional Learning
The ATPE Podcast
by atpe
2M ago
In preparation for the launch of a new online community and professional learning platform, ATPE has hired a new engagement and learning specialist to spearhead these projects and foster opportunities for ATPE members to engage with each other and take part in high-quality professional learning. Andrea Hutlock joined the ATPE team in the Marketing & Communications department in January. Many educators have struggled with making teaching a viable and successful career, and a common cause for concern—especially for teachers in rural or smaller districts—is the feeling of being siloed. Having ..read more
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Social Media Behavior for Educators
The ATPE Podcast
by atpe
4M ago
As the popularity of social networking has grown, so too has the potential for its misuse. As an educator, you are held to a high standard of conduct, even when you are engaging with social media platforms outside of school, and expecting teachers not to use social networking is not realistic or fair. There are many educational benefits to engaging with these platforms as well. With all the issues educators encounter in this digital space, it is important to know what social media behavior is considered appropriate and what can get you into trouble, as there can be a fine line between exercisi ..read more
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Special Session Preview: The Fight Against Vouchers Is Just Getting Started
The ATPE Podcast
by atpe
4M ago
With the 88th regular legislative session ending months ago and a special session beginning soon, lawmakers continue to battle over the future of public education policy in Texas. Again, private school voucher legislation will be the focus, and the magnitude of educator engagement will likely determine the results. In the regular session, ATPE testified on a number of bills and worked with legislators in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle to craft and pass meaningful legislation. With the help of engaged educators from all over the state, we were able to reduce accelerated instructio ..read more
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New Physical Restraint Legislation
The ATPE Podcast
by atpe
4M ago
In June, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 133. This new law prohibits the physical restraint of public school students by peace officers and school security personnel under certain circumstances. So what is meant by the phrase “physical restraint”? In this context, physical restraint involves an emergency situation where physical interaction is a last resort. Texas law defines “restraint” as the use of physical force or a mechanical device to significantly restrict the free movement of all or a portion of a student's body. Physical restraint is an issue that has long been discussed in ..read more
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First Amendment Rights for Educators
The ATPE Podcast
by atpe
4M ago
What do First Amendment rights look like for educators, and how much protection do those rights provide in schools and other public forums? You’ll often see statements paraphrasing court opinions that educators and students don’t shed their First Amendment rights when they go to school. This may be true, but the protection the First Amendment provides isn’t absolute and can depend on the situation. Teachers and other educators are almost uniquely impacted by the First Amendment because not only are they individuals, but also they are employees, and their employer is a government entity. This c ..read more
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Penalty-Free Resignation Deadline
The ATPE Podcast
by atpe
4M ago
The penalty-free resignation deadline is the last possible date most educators can resign from employment without risk of penalty to their TEA certification. This deadline is particularly important for you when under contract in a district where you do not plan to work during the upcoming school year. For districts with a first instructional day in August, the penalty-free resignation deadline will be sometime in mid- to late June or early July. For districts on a year-round calendar, the deadline will be earlier. If you resign after that date without being released from your contract, it is c ..read more
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Legislative Update: Vouchers, Testing, and Teacher Pay
The ATPE Podcast
by atpe
4M ago
With the 88th Legislative Session soon coming to a close, lawmakers at the Capitol are battling over the future of public education policy. And with a historic budget surplus at their disposal, educators are hoping this will be the year the Legislature will approve a substantial across-the-board pay raise, but time is running out. Several bills have been proposed in both the Senate and the House to address the need for teacher retention, but the little compensation they offer is, of course, nowhere near enough. Rather than fund the public education system, the Legislature may also choose to de ..read more
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T-TESS Summative Evaluations
The ATPE Podcast
by atpe
4M ago
Once a year, Texas mandates that teachers receive a performance appraisal, and for most teachers, this is known as the T-TESS—short for Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS). By now, you have likely received at least one required 45-minute formal T-TESS observation or a walkthrough by your appraiser with written feedback. It’s important for you to familiarize yourself with the T-TESS cycle and be aware of any changes or modifications to the T-TESS rubric prior to getting evaluated. But do you have a right to file a grievance if you don’t agree with the results? Where does a teac ..read more
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