Coastal Bend teachers react to Texas special session agenda

20 items will be on the agenda during the Texas legislatures special session, which begins July 18. Several of those items affect public education.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - 20 items will be on the agenda during the Texas legislatures special session, which begins July 18. Several of those items affect public education.
 
Many Corpus Christi educators said they are not very happy about what Governor Greg Abbott wants for our future generations or the men and women who teach them.
 
"They are dangerous for our community, dangerous for teachers, dangerous for children," said Dr. Nancy Vera, President of the Corpus Christi chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.
 
One of the agenda items for the special session is a $1,000 pay raise for teachers.
 
"I'm appreciative of any raise that teachers get. A thousand dollars isn't going to cut it. Especially when insurance rates are going up," Vera said.
 
Another item involves administrative flexibility for hiring educators.
 
"It's going to give principals a lot of power to put people where they want to put them, whether they have the qualifications or not," Special Education Teacher Kathryn O'Neill said.
 
Educators also said vouchers for special needs students to choose schools will take money out of the school districts and put it into private schools.
 
"You shouldn't be able to take your funds from other students or other campuses and be able to use them wherever you want," O'Neill said.
 
O'Neill said most of the items undermine teachers as professionals.
 
"We are the first people besides parents that show doctors, lawyers, police officers, firemen how to read and write and guide them toward their professions," O'Neill said.
 
Dr. Vera said agenda items should be a positive step for public education.
 
"Yes, give teachers a raise. Yes, work on school finance. Yes, get that school board together," Vera said.

© 2017 KIII-TV


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