So far, your calls against House Bill 400 are working, but sponsors of this major anti-teacher and anti-student bill will make another effort tomorrow (Thursday) to ram it through the Texas House. Midnight Thursday is the deadline for passing House bills on second reading. So, the stakes are high.
Please urge your members to continue calling their state representatives to demand they vote AGAINST House Bill 400.
TSTA and other opponents of the bill have been able to delay House action three times on technicalities. But the bill, bad as it is, refuses to die. So keep the calls to the Capitol coming.
If your members already have called, urge them to call again!
Here, again, is how the bill will hurt teachers and the public schools:
- Permanently raises the 22-1 cap in K-4 to 25-1, making it easier for school districts to fire more teachers.
- Permanently eliminates the requirement that districts cannot pay teachers less next year than they earned this year. It also eliminates the state minimum salary schedule and lets districts set their own compensation systems with their own rules.
- Permanently allows school boards to furlough teachers and reduce their salaries accordingly.
- Permanently allows a district to declare a financial emergency at any time for purposes of doing a reduction in force and permanently deletes seniority as one of the factors used in determining who is terminated if a RIF is implemented.
- Permanently changes the date for notice of non-renewal to the last day of instruction.
- Permanently eliminates the use of a neutral hearing officer for mid-year terminations and replaces that with a hearing before the board.
NOW is the time to call your state representative and let him or her know what these changes will mean for you, your classroom, your school and your community. We must stop House Bill 400, and your call is critical! If you have called before, please call again.
To contact your state representative, call 800-260-5444, and we will connect you. You can call any time, TODAY, TONIGHT or TOMORROW. Leaving a voice message with your representative’s office is just as good as talking to a staff member.
It is important to include the following points in your conversation or message:
- Your name, that you are a TSTA member and that you live and vote in their district.
- Your own story, how laying off educators, ordering furloughs and cutting their pay would hurt the quality of education in your school and for your students.
- Ask your representative to refuse to participate in this unwarranted attack on teachers and public schools.
This will take only a few minutes of your time, and it will be time well spent. Your representative needs to hear from you NOW!