No Texas Teacher Left Behind

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The Second Austin 300 
 It was such a pleasure to meet you at the NTTLB rally in Austin on Saturday, Feb. 18.  The Austin American-Statesman reported that 300 were in attendance.  It was a smaller number than all would have wished but think of the significance!  We were part of the "Second Austin 300!"  Austin's original colony began with the original 300 and look at what Texas is today.  Maybe with our "Second Austin 300" we can also make the impossible happen!  We won't know if we don't try.

Listen to what Texas teachers are saying these days!  These are some 'sound bytes' from emails we've received.

Thank you for doing this; it is way past time that
Texas educators united to help themselves!

I am excited about this new group! We have been saying in our professional circles that we needed to get politically active. It goes against our nature but you are making it easier for us. We are indebted to the people of action that have established this new organization.

We as Texas Teachers have to stand up for ourselves, because no one else is going to. We are blamed for all the ills of our society. Kids are obese...its the teachers fault, get snacks out of school. The state budget is in the red....blame the teachers and cut their benefits. The list is endless.

I am VERY glad that this organization has been created. I am with TFT and receive their info all the time, and pass it on to everyone I can. We need to do something about those in office that are against our schools and us. It's time to get them voted out. I hope we can get this out to ALL the teachers in Texas, so we can band together to show them that we are voters and can VOTE them OUT. The law makers seem to think that we are a passive group of people. Let's get ACTIVE and show them who we are.

My wife and I worked a combined 62 years in Texas schools.  She became ill and TRS-Care, AKA "TRS-Who Cares" medical benefits are so skimpy and expensive that I had to get a job.  Yep, we could use a few changes in the statehouse.

I've had it with a Republican run Texas Government and so have the teachers and administrators.  If the Republicans had really wanted to do so; they could have passed bills to finance public schools and tax both individuals and businesses fairly.  Now the fair haired boy of the House - Mr. Craddick - has said its time to quit and go home.  For once I agree!  It takes a real bunch of idiots to meet this long and not find a solution to a problem they have known for years they would have to take care of.

 

Yes! It's time they went home and stayed there.  Educational organizations and teachers as individuals should "Mark White "  Texas Elected Officials.  It can be done and I hope we do it.  We need legislators who will know the right thing to do and do it.  All this bunch has been good at is taking lobbyists money and bad advice.

 

The ballot box is the only thing we have left and its time to use it.

 

 

I am furious with our legislators and feel that if our teacher organizations would unite, we could really get something done. Thank you for having such a wonderful idea.

I, too, am fed completely up with the legislature and agree that there is no respect for teachers, retired or active, or there would have been positive things coming out of Austin for education.

You are right.  The legislature has never respected educators.  One reason is we do not vote as a group, and many of us do not register to vote.  Some who register do not vote.  Registering to vote and going to vote is Life Work 101. 
 
On the seventh talking point which begins......Increase the state's contribution to the TRS fund.....Let us never forget that the legislature reduced their 8 percent contribution several years ago.  The stock market was booming and the TRS fund was doing well.  The promise was they would raise it up again when it was not doing so well with investments.  The investments suffered setbacks and smaller growth just as did the rest of the economy, but the promise to raise it back up never came to pass.  They don't need to just raise from 6 percent, they need to keep their promise.  They took it away, promising to give it back when certain things happened.  Those things happened, and they now ignore their promise.
 
We need to remember that the group of educators who work with our state's young people include bus drivers, cafeteria people, custodians, clerks, and everyone who touches the life of a child during the school day.  The TRS is called Teacher Retirement Fund.  We need to remember who really is the teacher.  It is interesting that retired administrators benefit the very most from TRS and they see children far, far less than does the cafeteria person cooking breakfast for those who come to the cafeteria, and they see parents far, far less than the secretary or clerk in the principal's office.
 
One last thing....we actives and retirees must never again let others manipulate us into being on opposite sides of any future fence.  This happened in the last session.  It was not to our mutual benefit, but divide and conquer is a common tactic with people who have power over you.  I am a retiree and my pension will in all probability never be reduced.  (Looks like it may never be increased either!)  I remember as an active hearing a retiree speak of the efforts made to bring retirement benefits up to a more desirable level.  At that time, he told us of retirees who were receiving $90 a month.  His retiree group worked to change that, and those of us who came on later benefited.  The efforts TRTA makes to improve retirement benefits will affect future retirees more than current ones.  We need to think of ourselves, actives and retirees, as one package.

I think your organization as well as the Texas Parent PAC is really going to let the people in Austin know that we hold many votes in our groups and some of them will be voted out during the next election. 

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!  Finally, someone who has the guts to stand up to our pitiful lawmakers of this state.  I am a retired teacher, living month to month on a small pension and at the present time, looking for employment.  With all of the increases in health care, prescriptions, living, gas, etc. I just cannot make it each month.  The lawmakers in Austin continue to show their lack of respect for teachers and education and up to this point, it seems that we have rolled over one too many times.  I noticed however that they were able to give themselves a 22% annuity increase and waste millions on special sessions.  SHAME on them.  I'm disgusted with their attitude and will work to oust those who have shown little interest or respect for our profession. 
 
I hope they are beginning to feel the disgust and are hearing the voices of parents, teachers, and retirees loud and clear!  Keep up the good work.
 

WOW!!  THANK GOD!!  You all are right on the mark!  I have been saying that Texas teachers could run the state if we would all stand united and vote to make sure education and educators are taken care of like we should be!   Your stated goals should be the priority of the state, yet they continue to place education and educators on the back burner as though we are not important at all.   

I agree with everything you are saying and wanted to say thanks for the editorial in the Jasper News Boy.  Second, is it possible to start a South East Texas group?  I will do every thing I can to support you organization either way.

As a 3rd grade teacher I appreciate the effort to show us that we are not alone!   Our job is becoming increasingly more difficult with more paperwork, more laws and children with more emotional and learning problems that will have to take the state assessments.  I think every teacher in Texas appreciates this effort!

Thank goodness that someone is trying to do something at a collective level.  I wish I could believe in the "teacher organizations" and their legislative clout....hmmmmmm. I think a group for teachers by teachers is commendable.

One very important list this group should keep online is the names of the members of legislature and, if possible, how they vote on upcoming educational issues.  These legislators need to know we (NTTLB) are keeping a close watch, keeping their votes right out in the educating public and will be "black balling" those who vote against the goals of NTTLB.  Those who remain "black balled" will suffer a removal of office in the next election. (Would be great if on that list.... viewers could click and leave a "black ball" beside the names of those we would like to vote out of office.  Then those legislators could see for themselves when they look on our website at who we are plenty upset with!)  NTTLB must do something to visually show these ingrates that we mean business!! 

My wife and I are Texas teachers with a combined teaching experience of 67 years.  We are tired of the passive attitude that teachers take in Texas. Unless teachers begin to say NO, we will remain as puppets. You will have our support when We hear the word STRIKE as an option for a battle plan.

This sounds great. I am an Ag teacher and am fed up with our legislators ignoring us. I belong to the Vocational Ag. Teachers Association of Texas, and we have a fairly powerful lobby in Austin because we have about 1500 to 2000 members. Our executive director and I have talked about just what you are trying to do, get educators to vote as a bloc. His comments to me were that because teachers historically have not voted together, the legislators don't have to worry about us. We need to change that!! I am going to forward your website to him and try to get it spread across Texas to all of the Ag. teachers.

What do I need to do to join your efforts?

 

Thanks for the fantastic drive of getting teachers united in taking care of ourselves.  For far too long teachers have had their nose to the grindstone without looking up and taking notice of what was going on, and now are treated like a second-class profession and frankly, I am tired of it.  Let's boot these "unresponsive idiots" out of office and elect those who are responsive to our goals, just like "businessmen" do.  

 

Is there a Dallas area group, if so, where are they meeting?  If not what can I do to help in the effort?   Thanks again.

I won't be able to attend your meeting, but I am willing to email or call representatives/senators or whomever.  I'm really tired of what has been happening to Texas educators and students.

If we educators all don't get involved and if we continue to "stay quiet" we accomplish nothing. We must make a stand to say "enough is enough!" I feel that educators across the state have gone above and beyond the call of our government. We have continuously risen to the task and we have never shirked our duties. Yet, there are no monetary rewards. I love teaching, but I work for money, benefits etc. because I have a family of my own that I must provide for. The work that
educators have been doing to meet the standards that have been put before us must now have a reward that will help us to continue our dedication to our chosen profession. Otherwise, I feel that teachers will leave in droves and young people will steer clear of the profession. Even a dog, when overworked and underfed, will escape the drudgery or will die because of it. I do not wish to see our profession suffer the same. Again, I applaud your efforts and my email is at your disposal.

Do you think the pension raise the legislature voted themselves, could help fund our TRS? Maybe they need to forgo the raise & put themsleves on the state plan.....I think until they are on the same plans as the rest of the general population, there will not be a change. They are willing to take care of #1, but not our students. I think your site & cause are great, but it  needs to get the support of parents who have school age children. This would mobilize an even greater voting bloc.

I personally want to thank you for organizing this group to stand up for Texas teachers. I have been a teacher for the last 27 years in Texas and have seen how unfairly teachers are treated as "state employees." My husband always said that there are enough teachers in Texas that you could vote to get things done if you would all ban together. I remember a few times when we tried but failed. ALL teachers need to jump on this band-wagon!! I have been on the same payscale for the last 7 years and think it is so unfair that when you reach 20 years there is not a pay-scale increase. You have your most qualified teachers at this level and need to have some incentive to keep us in education. There are so many issues that need to be addressed by our legislature and you stated them well in your website. I plan to send this site to all my teacher buddies and I plan to attend the meeting in July in Kilgore because I am very interested in getting this message out and joining your group. Again, thanks for putting this in our local paper - Wise County Messenger -or I probably would not have found out about this. I am glad that a group of teachers decided to ban together to change things for the better in education in Texas!! See you in Kilgore!