Latest Capitol Updates

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

House passes budget, adopts anti-voucher amendment | April 23, 2021 - 11:40am

The Texas House passed its version of the state budget (SB 1) late Thursday night. With fewer fireworks than usual, lawmakers adopted 146 amendments to the bill, though it is expected that many, if not most, of them will disappear in negotiations with the Senate.

Senate Ed hears bill to allow districts to withdraw from ActiveCare | April 22, 2021 - 8:34pm

The Senate Education agenda included consideration of a bill that would allow districts to withdraw from ActiveCare.

Bills that have passed the House or Senate | April 22, 2021 - 8:08pm

More than 50 education-related bills have gotten halfway through the legislative process (see more about the process here).

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.

In the Weeds is a new feature in which we veer off the beaten path to try to demystify complex issues. In this edition, we’ll explain why a District of Innovation loophole is costing the state’s school health insurance plan — and you — big bucks.

The TRS Board of Trustees is expected to adopt an emergency rule this week that would allow retirees to return to work this summer up to full time to help districts staff summer school.

Students whose plots to attack schools were stopped demonstrated the same types of troubled histories as those who carried out attacks. They were badly bullied, often suffered from depression with stress at home, and exhibited behavior that worried others, according to a new study by the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center. It examined 67 thwarted school plots nationwide from 2006-2018 in K-12 schools.

House Bill 3 in the 2019 session created the Teacher Incentive Allotment program under which teachers can achieve Recognized, Exemplary and Master designations and earn additional funding for their campus. Funding ranges from $3,000 to $32,000 per year, and at least 90% must be used for salaries on the designated teacher's campus. Participating districts must create a local teacher designation system approved by TEA. (National Board Certified teachers automatically earn a Recognized designation, regardless of whether their district has an approved local system.) Twenty-six districts were approved in 2019-20 and more districts have recently begun the process.

TCTA's Holly Eaton provided an update on current events during TCTA's Directors' Council meeting Feb. 25, 2021, including the latest news on accountability and assessment, the Teaching Incentive Allotment and professional development.