ATPE's Legislative Priorities for the 88th Texas Legislature
Date Posted: 1/05/2023 | Author: Jennifer Mitchell
The 88th Texas Legislature will convene in Austin at noon Tuesday, Jan. 10. As we prepare for the start of the 140-day regular session, take a look at ATPE's 2023 legislative priorities.
Texas public schools serve approximately 5.5 million students whose needs and experiences are as diverse as the state we love. ATPE offers the following recommendations to the 88th Texas Legislature to support the students and staff of our public schools, which are the backbone of our communities and pave the way to success for future generations.
Staffing & compensation: ATPE supports measures to ensure schools have appropriate staffing levels to meet all students’ needs, along with the resources to guarantee all school staff are adequately paid and have access to affordable health care and retirement benefits.
Educator recruitment & retention: ATPE supports comprehensive strategies to make the education profession more attractive and rewarding in order to improve educator recruitment, retention, and job satisfaction.
- The Legislature should enact measures to support and improve educators’ mental health, including providing adequate leave time and ensuring workloads are reasonable.
- The state should increase compensation to reflect the professionalism and training required of Texas educators.
- Legislation and local policies should respect educators’ professionalism and autonomy and promote collaboration among school employees, parents, school boards, and other elected officials.
- Educator preparation laws should maintain high standards for entrance to the profession and hold providers accountable for high-quality training and ongoing support of their certification candidates.
School safety: ATPE urges the state to prioritize the health and safety of the school community through funding and resources to increase students’ access to mental health professionals and nurses, modernize and secure school facilities, and improve coordination and preparedness of school staff and other first responders to identify and address crises.
Keeping public schools public: ATPE opposes any voucher, tax credit, scholarship, or other program to fund private or home schools using taxpayer resources that public schools need to serve all students.
Retirement & financial security: ATPE encourages the Legislature to dedicate existing state revenue to providing an immediate cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for all current TRS retirees and to explore solutions for providing guaranteed COLAs for future retirees.
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