TCTA notified members last week that the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state’s school finance system is constitutional. The court ruled against all claims from a myriad of plaintiffs; the legal challenges had included both the adequacy of state funding and the equity of the distribution method. Read on for more details from the written judicial opinions, and reactions from state leaders.

The election date for runoffs from the March primary is Tuesday, May 24. Voter turnout is typically extremely low in runoff elections, so your vote can really make a difference. Don’t miss this opportunity to have an impact on the people who will be representing you in Austin!

TCTA staff attorney Julie Leahy represented Georgetown teachers at a recent meeting at which the Georgetown ISD board of trustees discussed converting to an innovation district.

TCTA had been contacted by a Georgetown CTA member who noticed an item on the board meeting agenda regarding initiating the innovation district process. Leahy attended the meeting to convey the many concerns of the GCTA teachers. Read more

Two TCTA members were among the statewide winners of the 15th annual H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards. Martha Saucedo of Brady ISD and Laurie Holmes of Del Valle ISD were among eight educators honored during an awards ceremony May 13 at San Antonio’s La Cantera Hill Country Resort. Read more

A surprising decision by the Texas Supreme Court is the talk of Austin policymakers and observers. The court ruled the current system constitutional, declaring, “Despite the imperfections of the current school funding regime, it meets minimum constitutional requirements.” 

In an 9-0 ruling Friday, May 13, 2016, the court reversed a lower judge's decision in 2013 that sided with schools in a lawsuit filed by more than 600 districts after state lawmakers cut $5.4 billion from education funding in 2011. (Read more)

Legislators talked in depth about the Texas economic forecast for the 2017 legislative session at a recent conference, and in the process touched on a few other items of interest. Though teacher retirement benefits were not a focal point, one lawmaker – Sen. Paul Bettencourt of Houston – took the opportunity to assert (not for the first time) that the TRS pension plan should be restructured as a defined contribution (401k-style) plan. Read more

Sixteen TCTA members are among 26 Wichita Falls ISD educators named as 2015-2016 campus Teacher of the Year:

Democratic and Republican Party primaries March 1 decided who will appear on the November ballot in many statewide, congressional, State Board of Education and legislative races. But candidates failed to reach the 50-percent mark in 22 races, meaning eligible voters will head back to the polls May 24 for runoffs between the top two candidates. Click here to read more.

The Joint Committee on TRS Health Benefit Plans held its second meeting Wednesday, April 13, 2016, to discuss the benefits and costs associated with TRS-ActiveCare. Legislators also touched on overall funding, which affects all school employees whether enrolled in ActiveCare or a local health insurance plan.

TCTA filed a lawsuit Wednesday, April 20, 2016, in response to new state rules governing teacher appraisal systems. In the petition filed in Travis County District Court, TCTA argues the education commissioner exceeded his authority by dictating specific criteria that local school districts must use in developing their own appraisal systems. Read more