The Texas Association of School Administrators has announced the statewide and regional finalists for the 2016 Texas Teacher of the Year program, including several TCTA members. These outstanding educators will be honored at the Texas Teacher of the Year awards ceremony in October. Read more here.

As TCTA reported at the end of the legislative session, one of the bills signed into law this summer was HB 743, which, among other provisions, requires that standardized assessments in grades 3-5 be designed so that 85 percent of students can complete the test within 120 minutes; and for assessments in grades 6-8, 85 percent of students should be able to finish within 180 minutes.​ TEA recently announced that the first administration of the writing tests restructured to conform to these requirements will be in the spring of 2017. Read more here.

TCTA scored a major victory at Friday’s State Board for Educator Certification meeting by successfully persuading the board to reverse course on a highly problematic proposal to require board review of disciplinary settlement agreements between educators and TEA staff. TCTA’s Julie Leahy presented persuasive testimony cautioning the board that such a move would result in less incentive for educators to enter into agreements with staff, more expensive formal hearings, inefficiency, and diversion of resources away from other certification matters.

TCTA has announced the winners of our Friend of Education awards, which honor a state official or legislator and a private citizen outside the field of education who have made a significant contribution to public education in Texas. The 2014-15 winners were honored during TCTA's annual convention in July. And the winners are ...

The Teacher Retirement System Board of Trustees approved increased premium rates for ActiveCare for the upcoming school year. The board also approved plan design changes and considered the future of ActiveCare 2. Learn more and view the chart of current and new rates here.

Rep. John Kline, chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, reintroduced his Republican bill from last Congress but Democrats wanted a new bipartisan bill and some debate time. Kline may have been buoyed by having a Republican majority to support his bill on the House floor, but the effort nearly sank when the far-right faction pulled its support as questions emerged about the content of the provisions.​ Learn more.

The beginning of summer also signals the time for teachers to make decisions about staying in their current positions or making the move to another. TCTA’s Legal Department brings you the facts about resignation and contracts as you make your plans for the next school year.​ Learn more.

It’s a big question. Health insurance costs are becoming a greater percentage of take-home pay every year. Your options are a function of whether your district participates in ActiveCare, where in Texas you live, and – unfortunately – how much money you have to spend on your health insurance costs. Learn more.

The Texas Department of Insurance is trying to help students – and all Texans – understand how property insurance works through a free, online educational game called PlayInsure. Get more details. 

In his message in the spring TCTA magazine, TCTA President Terrill Q. Littlejohn talks about the legislative session and how you can make an impact in your area. Read the column.