Latest Capitol Updates

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Accountability legislation - House versus Senate | May 25, 2017 - 3:38pm

Although both chambers expressed an interest in making changes to the current school accountability system this session, the versions of HB 22 that have passed the House and Senate are substantially different in some respects. The House currently faces a decision about whether to accept the Senate version or attempt to negotiate through the conference committee process.

HB 21 dead (probably); TRS-Care bill heads to governor | May 24, 2017 - 5:17pm

After the Senate added an education savings account voucher program for special needs students to the school finance reform bill (funding for which had been whittled down from more than $1.6 billion to just over $.5 billion in the negotiated budget), House author Dan Huberty refused to agree to the Senate changes on HB 21 and requested the appointment of a conference committee.

Weekend wrapup: budget, TRS-Care, vouchers, bathrooms | May 22, 2017 - 12:02pm

The House and Senate had a busy weekend, forging ahead on several major issues, some of which may stave off a special session. The conference committee on SB 1 agreed on a state budget, and the Senate passed a necessary but flawed TRS-Care bill and a voucher proposal, while the House passed an amendment to a school safety bill that addresses the use of school restrooms by transgender students.

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Michael Bailey, a teacher at Omar Bradley Middle School in North East ISD and a TCTA member since 2000, was honored with H-E-B's Excellence in Education Award for Lifetime Achievement in Secondary Education on May 7. Click here to read more about this year's winners.

TCTA and the three other major Texas teacher groups settled lawsuits with Education Commissioner Mike Morath through a joint settlement agreement filed May 3.

In a major victory for Texas teachers, the settlement will give school districts much greater flexibility in how to measure and weight student performance data in teacher appraisals as well as removing any reference to “value-added data” in both the commissioner-recommended appraisal system (T-TESS) and in locally-adopted appraisal systems. The four associations negotiated a settlement with the commissioner through the assistant attorneys general who were representing the commissioner in the four separate lawsuits filed against the teacher appraisal rules adopted by the commissioner last year.

TCTA turns 90 this year. We’re celebrating with a feature in our summer magazine and need your help.

In 300 words or less, share your favorite TCTA memory or tell us what you love best about TCTA. Email your stories to communications@tcta.org with “TCTA turns 90” in the subject line. If you have any photos to illustrate your memory, send them to us as well.

A hearing was held in Travis County District Court on Wednesday, March 29, in the case of TCTA v. Morath. TCTA filed a lawsuit against Education Commissioner Mike Morath over the appraisal rule that requires locally adopted appraisal systems to use the definition of "performance of teachers' students" used in the appraisal system recommended by the commissioner, which is T-TESS.

Spring STAAR tests start this week, and Education Commissioner Mike Morath recently sent a letter to administrators highlighting three recent changes he hopes will make testing less stressful this year.

TCTA scored a victory by convincing TEA to include in its finally adopted special education rules a provision that the regular education teacher participating in an ARD committee meeting must be one who will implement a portion of the student’s IEP. TCTA argued that it’s important to specify which of the student’s regular education teachers must be part of the ARD because not all of them may be implementing the student’s IEP.

Beginning March 1, and continuing through May 5, TRS is conducting an election for two board trustee positions. One position is for a retiree representative (to be voted on only by retirees) and one is an at-large position that can be filled by either a retiree or active member (and can be voted on by members of both categories). Watch your mail during the next two weeks for the March TRS newsletter, which contains both candidate information and voting instructions.

English Language Arts and Science teachers, have you ever wanted to tell the state just how long it takes to teach all of the TEKS for your classes? Do you believe that the TEKS for your subjects are too long to cover in one school year? Or do you think that the TEKS are perfect? Starting today, you have a chance to give feedback to the State Board of Education about the length of time to teach the TEKS. 

TCTA reminded the State Board for Educator Certification in testimony March 3, 2017, of the importance of preserving the integrity of teacher certification.

Help us spread the word by downloading and distributing this PDF flier to Texas high school teachers and counselors, who may nominate students for the TCTA Scholarship Program. Rather than focusing on academic records, TCTA will select award recipients based primarily on the qualities they have demonstrated and obstacles they have overcome that make them likely to succeed if given the chance.