Thursday, November 16, 2023

Texas AFT and Arc of Texas Urges You to OPPOSE HB 1, Even Without the Voucher!


Texas AFT Urges You to OPPOSE HB 1, Even Without the Voucher!


We want to make sure that you know exactly why HB 1 still doesn’t deserve your support — even after the voucher is removed.


HB 1 Is Bad for Teachers

  • Annual salary increases based on years of experience stop after 10 years.

  • Schools would not pay teachers according to the minimum salary schedule for an unsatisfactory evaluation.

  • Pay-for-performance schemes through the Teacher Incentive Allotment would further exacerbate the state’s overemphasis on standardized testing.

  • Teachers who have worked hard to achieve reputable National Board Certification would be relegated to the lowest tier of designation.

  • HB 1 adds to the disrespect of the teaching profession by providing pay raises to uncertified teachers, even with no commitment to pursue certification.


HB 1 Is Bad for Students

  • Students in Kindergarten through the third grade would be tested up to three times per year.

  • The basic allotment increase in HB 1 is only $540 per pupil, which is half of what is required just to keep up with inflation.

  • HB 1 encourages the use of uncertified teachers without a requirement to commit to certification, which invites questions about the quality of education our students will receive.


HB 1 Promotes Privatization

  • While real public schools must issue bonds and receive voter approval for new facilities, HB 1 would give an additional $1 billion to unaccountable, privately run charter schools for new facilities.

  • Charters would get $830 of state funding per student, which is more than the HB 1 increase to the per-pupil basic allotment ($540).

  • HB 1 strikes guardrails that prevent an onslaught of low-quality, for-profit virtual schools from expanding throughout Texas.

  • Private vendors can creep into districts via the virtual school provisions and collect full student funding despite not having actual facilities.


The Arc of Texas - Email on HB 1 provision regarding State Supported Living Centers

10/31/23 (from Ashley Ford to TLEEC)

The Arc of Texas also continues to vehemently oppose the SSLC provision in Sec. 29.0056 in HB 1. This is a harmful provision that has the potential to increase the number of institutionalized children with disabilities and would have a detrimental impact on children with disabilities and their families. Below is a little more information about this provision and what The Arc of Texas’ concerns are.


What would this SSLC provision do?:

This provision would require the school district personnel to provide parents of students with disabilities with information about state supported living centers (SSLCs) when discussing possible residential options. 


Main Concerns:

  1. Appropriateness: It is not the role of school district personnel or the ARD committee to provide information to parents on SSLCs. Local IDD Authorities are the most informed and appropriate entity to provide information about residential placement options. SSLCs do not provide schooling and are not schools.

  2. Cost to the state: SSLCs cost Texas roughly $28,300/month per resident. HCS Waiver Residential costs taxpayers roughly $6,600/month per individual (Cost Comparison Report 2022). By highlighting SSLCs specifically as an option, we risk influencing families to gravitate towards the most costly and restrictive setting. Even if this bill results in 3 additional students with disabilities becoming residents of SSLCs – it will cost Texas over 1 million dollars each year.

  3. Lack of Necessity: A residential options brochure is already in existence and requiring one to be made would be a duplication of efforts.

  4. Counter to Best Practice: The federal government and the state of Texas recognize that SSLCs are the most restrictive residential placement for children with disabilities. Children should grow up and live with their families and institutions are not family homes. Whenever possible, we must do all we can to ensure all children reside in family homes where they can be loved on and nurtured. This is acknowledged both by the federal government through the Supreme Court’s decision in Olmstead v. OC and by our state through Texas Government Code Section 531.0245 (SB 368, 77R).



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