Texas teachers speak out against proposed bill

Texas teachers speak out against proposed bill

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Kristel Sexton has been teaching in Amarillo for 20 years and says she's never been this worked up over a proposed bill.

"The legislators are trying to tell us how our money can be spent," said Sexton. "They're trying to make more decisions and tell us things we can't do with our money."

She talking about Senate Bill 13. The bill would end payroll deductions to unions and professional organizations for state employees. Right now, if an employee chooses, their dues are deducted by their employers and sent to the organization.

Senator Joan Huffman wrote the bill. She says the government should have no official role in the affairs of trade unions, labor unions, employees associations or professional associations.

"That is something AISD currently does and most of the school districts in Texas do right now," said Sexton.

But the bill would exempt police officers, firefighters, and EMS -- something that isn't sitting well with Sexton and other teachers a part of the Association of Texas Professional Educators.

"Initially we thought this was an 'anti-union' bill but we're not a union ATPE is an association," said Sexton. "We should not be silenced, we have a lot to say. We are the first responders too. We're educating your children, we're the first responders in the classroom."

While teachers are the largest group impacted, the bill would also stop payroll deductions for CPS workers, parole and correctional officers.

Sextons say the best thing any teacher can do right now is to keep voicing their opinion.

"We are a vocal group and we do get out an vote. We're very informed," said Sexton.

SB 13 moved through committee and made its way to the Senate on Thursday. There has to be at least two readings before it can pass.

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