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Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: Feb. 23, 2024

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 2/23/2024

The ATPE Governmental Relations team recaps the past week’s education news, legislative and election updates, and regulatory developments. 

PRIMARY ELECTIONS: Early voting began Tuesday in the March primary elections, and as of 7 p.m. Wednesday, 1.7% of registered voters had turned out to the polls. For reference, that is only about 300,000 of Texas’ more than 17.9 million registered voters, so … that’s not much. The public education community, more than 7 million strong including current and retired educators, parents, and guardians, can change that! We have the power to make this primary a referendum on public education if we turn out to vote. 

In addition to candidate information here on Teach the Vote, we’ve published several articles to help you vote pro-public education this election cycle: 

GOOD READS: Once you make it through all of ATPE’s election commentary and resources, you might want to check out the latest issue of Texas Monthly, which features a cover story on Midland oilman and billionaire Tim Dunn, who has financed many of the pro-voucher organizations who hold so much influence in Texas politics today. Also, this article on Texas House politics focuses on races in which pro-public education Republicans are being challenged by Gov. Greg Abbott-supported candidates who align with the governor on private school vouchers. 

SBEC: The State Board for Educator Certification met Feb. 16 and approved rule changes governing educator preparation and certification, as well as discussed the rubric used for special education teachers to prove they are “highly qualified.” ATPE Lobbyist Tricia Cave has more in this blog post. 

FEDERAL NUTRITION PROGRAM: The State of Texas is one of 15 states to opt out of a $2.5 billion federal nutrition program to help low-income parents buy groceries for their children when free school meals are unavailable during the summer months. The Texas Tribune reports the state is opting out of $450 million in federal tax dollars that would have gone to an estimated 3.8 million children from eligible families because state agency leadership felt there wasn’t adequate time to stand up a program. 


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