The 87th Texas Legislature gaveled in January 12.
Ahead of opening day, ATPE Governmental Relations outlined what we know so far regarding public access to the State Capitol. We also learned the Legislature will face a tight budget over the next two years, but the outlook isn’t as bad as was expected, per the Biennial Revenue Estimate released by Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar January 11. On opening day itself, the Texas House also elected its next speaker, Rep. Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont). The House and Senate both adopted new rules for conducting their business this session, too, before heading home until January 26.
The 87th Texas legislative session comes at a monumental time. With educators facing more challenges than ever, ATPE’s lobbyists will track all education-related bills, but their focus will be on six priorities, including school funding, educator working conditions, mental health resources for students and staff, and ongoing COVID-19 challenges in the classroom. To read all six of ATPE’s legislative priorities in detail, click here. Read ATPE’s full press release here. Make sure to stay tuned to our advocacy website, TeachtheVote.org, for more updates as this unusual session gets underway.
Another way to get involved is our ATPE at the Virtual Capitol event, which will look a bit different this year. Due to the pandemic, ATPE has turned the annual legislative symposium and advocacy training event completely virtual. Although we’ll miss gathering in person, we are hopeful not having to travel will allow more ATPE members to participate. Join ATPE Governmental Relations and special guests the afternoon of Sunday, February 21, for panel presentations, legislative issue updates, live Q&A opportunities, and advocacy training. Registration is free and now open for this ATPE member-exclusive event. Also, register to attend “An Evening of Cocktails & Magic,” our virtual fundraising event for ATPE-PAC slated for Saturday, February 20.
Keep an eye on Advocacy Central, too. Advocacy Central is your one-stop shop to learn more about your state and federal representatives and influence bills that affect public education. Soon, you’ll find advocacy campaigns centered on major bills, ATPE’s legislative priorities, or other trending topics, as the legislative session starts to heat up. This is an ATPE membership benefit, so you’ll need to log in to your online account! (If you are unable to access your account, call ATPE Membership at (800) 777-2873.)
And for real-time updates on all things Texas education, follow ATPE on all social media platforms