Latest Capitol Updates

These updates are also compiled and emailed weekly via the TCTA eUpdate. Subscribe here.

House will not require COVID-19 testing for access | January 14, 2021 - 2:38pm

The Texas House of Representatives adopted its operating procedures Thursday after more than four hours of debate. Most substantive changes to the rules were made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, though the House’s requirements will be different from those approved by the Senate the day before.

Senate changes procedural rules | January 13, 2021 - 6:33pm

The Texas Senate adopted its procedural rules Wednesday afternoon, including a revision of the number of votes required to bring a bill to the floor, and new rules governing health and safety practices in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunset Commission adopts recs for TRS changes | January 13, 2021 - 1:46pm

The Sunset Advisory Commission made final decisions on the agencies in its current review cycle, including the Teacher Retirement System. The recommendations will be included in a TRS Sunset bill to be filed soon. No recommendations were made that would affect member benefits.

Latest News

TCTA staff and leadership are closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on Texas schools. We've compiled answers to many of the questions our members are asking about COVID-19. The following FAQs also are available to non-members to help all educators navigate this unprecedented time. The FAQs are updated as new guidance emerges from federal, state and local officials.

Click here for our resources about teaching online. Click here for our summary of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides paid leave for employees. Click here for information about the CARES Act, which adds funds for education.

We encourage TCTA members with specific questions to call our Legal Department at 888-879-8282 for assistance. Members with general inquiries can submit them through the Ask-a-Lawyer portal.

Groups of teachers can apply to TEA to earn stipends for piloting Texas Home Learning instructional materials, which are designed for both in-person and remote learning. Pilot participants will receive $500 or $1,000 stipends, remote learning training and ongoing coaching support, and extra materials for text sets, including manipulatives (if piloting a THL-recommended unit). 

Application deadlines are approaching for the 2020-21 Charles Butt Scholarship, which awards $8,000 to $10,000 per year for up to four years to aspiring teachers through 10 partner universities. Applicants must be committed to teaching in a majority-economically disadvantaged school or in a teacher shortage area in a Texas public school. About 100 new scholarships will be awarded this year. For more information and how to apply, visit CharlesButtScholarship.org.  

The TRS Board of Trustees met remotely for its December meeting. Former TCTA State President Nanette Sissney, one of the employee representatives on the board, was reelected as vice-chair.

The Texas Education Agency is promoting four models to help districts manage remote and in-person learning. It comes partly in response to concerns about the heavy workload concurrent teaching puts on teachers. TEA released webinars on each teaching method, and TCTA reviewed the materials and put together this summary of the pros and cons, along with examples of each method.

Texans turned out in record numbers for the 2020 elections, but the “blue wave” that some had predicted failed to materialize. Once the results were in, drama began to erupt over the selection of a new House speaker.