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Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: May 10, 2024

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 5/10/2024

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

MAY 4 ELECTION AND RUNOFFS: Voter turnout was low throughout the state, but the voters that did turn out supported Texas' public schools. There were approximately 183 school district bond propositions on ballots statewide totaling around $9.9 billion. Approximately 74% passed, which means voters approved $7.49 billion in bond funding for schools.  

In Senate District (SD) 15, Senator-elect Molly Cook defeated Rep. Jarvis Johnson in a special election to serve out the remainder of John Whitmire's term. Whitmire vacated the seat in January after he was elected to serve as Houston's mayor. SD 15 voters will return to the polls at the end of this month for a runoff to decide who will appear on the November general election ballot and serve the district starting in January 2025.  

Visit The Texas Tribune's runoff elections page to see if there is a runoff in your area. Early voting runs from May 20–24, and Election Day is May 28. 

INTERIM CHARGES: Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R–Beaumont) announced 68 interim charges for Texas House committees Wednesday, May 8, almost a month after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) released charges for the Senate. The House Public Education Committee received four interim charges focusing on curriculum, vouchers, teacher certification, and early literacy. Several other committees were given interim charges related to public education concerning funding, teacher retirement, property taxes, and school safety. ATPE Lobbyist Tricia Cave covers these interim charges in this blog post.   

VOUCHERS AND TEACHER PAY: As we mentioned in the May 3 Week in Review, the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation (THPF) published a poll in which the majority of likely voters opposed vouchers and supported legislation that would increase teacher pay. ATPE Lobbyist Heather Sheffield breaks down the poll results in this blog post

ATPE NEWS: In the Summer 2024 issue of ATPE News, we discuss Generation Alpha's impact on education and how public schools are addressing teacher shortages. In "Your Voice," ATPE Senior Lobbyist Mark Wiggins reminds educators of the importance of showing up to vote. 

ATPE SUMMIT: If you haven't made plans to join the ATPE Governmental Relations Team in attending the ATPE Summit July 8–10 in Dallas, visit atpesummit.org to learn more about the event and register. The ATPE Lobby Team, including our federal contract lobbyists, will share the latest on how public educators can advocate for their students and their profession.  

Our keynote speakers are leadership expert Alyson Van Hooser and Ron Clark Academy co-founder Kim Bearden, and we’re offering your choice of more than 20 professional learning breakouts. The member registration fee is $225, and nonmembers may attend for $275. (Van Hooser and Bearden artist appearances arranged through Gotham Artists.) 

GEN ATPE WEBINAR: Join ATPE at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 16, for the next Gen ATPE Webinar: End-of-Year Essentials. Attendees will gain essential strategies to close out the classroom and set the stage for a successful transition into the next year. The webinar is open to all ATPE members, and live webinar attendees will receive one hour of continuing professional education (CPE) credit. Register here


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