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Louis Malfaro

Texas American Federation of Teachers

Louis Malfaro is the secretary-treasurer of the Texas American Federation of Teachers.  He started his career as an elementary bilingual education teacher in Austin, Texas (AISD).  Malfaro served as president of the Austin Federation of Teachers from 1992-1999 and as president of Education Austin, the first merged AFT/NEA affiliate in Texas, from 1999 to 2010.  He was elected secretary-treasurer of the Texas AFT in September, 2010.

As president of Education Austin, Malfaro led the successful effort to gain democratically-elected representation (elected consultation) for school employees in Austin.  Under his leadership, Education Austin negotiated numerous agreements with the Austin school district on behalf of district employees that resulted in better working conditions, compensation and benefits, and a voice for teachers and staff in many of the decisions that affect the work they do and the effectiveness of the institution in which they work.  

Under Malfaro’s leadership, Education Austin and AISD developed a labor-management collaboration focused on teacher support, development and strategic compensation called AISD REACH.  The initiative was the foundation for the Austin school district’s successful application for a $63 million Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) grant in 2010.

Malfaro spearheaded work that led to Education Austin winning an AFT Innovation Fund Grant in 2010 to explore “In-District Community Charter Schools,” in partnership with Austin Interfaith.  The project brought together parents, teachers, and community and school leaders to create improved learning opportunities for students based on plans developed by a local school community (Travis Heights Elementary School) within a public school context.

Malfaro serves as an AFT vice-president and on the AFT Human and Civil Rights and Democracy Committees.  He is a vice-president of the Texas AFL-CIO and currently serves on the board of the National Immigration Forum and the Coalition for Public Schools, a Texas organization that opposes school vouchers. Malfaro has served as president of the Austin Central Labor Council, on the Austin Equity Commission, and on the non-profit boards of Liveable City Austin and AVANCE Austin.

Malfaro received a B.S. in Bilingual Elementary Education from the University of Texas in 1987 after studying at Penn State University, La Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico, and Austin Community College.  He studied public policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and at the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas from 1992 to 1994.

Malfaro is married to Lisa Maxwell Malfaro, a bilingual educator and counselor, and has two sons, Ben (23) and Liam (17).