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During a June 27 hearing before the House Public Education Committee and the Committee on Public Health, TCTA testified about the need for increased teacher support in regard to mental illness.

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Illinois statute requiring non-union public employees to pay "agency fees" to the union representing the employees, expressly overruling a 1997 Supreme Court decision that had approved such required payments. 

State agencies are in the process of developing their budget requests for the next legislative session, so TCTA recently took the opportunity to again ask Education Commissioner Mike Morath to include increased funding for school employee health insurance in the TEA budget. Morath’s response was encouraging, though not definitive, and TCTA will continue to urge state officials and legislators to deal with this increasingly critical issue.

Misty Ruth, a teacher in the Pasadena Independent School District and a TCTA member since 2002, has been selected as a national winner representing Texas for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. PAEMST is the highest recognition a mathematics or science teacher may receive for exemplary teaching in the United States. 

TEA recently announced that the Texas Educator Certification Examination program will transition to a new testing vendor. Beginning Sept. 1, Pearson will handle the TExES, TExMaT, TASC and TASC-ASL tests. 

Most Texas students taking State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests this spring met grade level or achieved higher level performance, according to results released June 14 by the Texas Education Agency.

Education Commissioner Mike Morath said campuses, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools directly affected by Hurricane Harvey will be eligible for special evaluation in this year’s state accountability system, if they meet at least one of a number of specific criteria.

The TCTA Legal Department spent many hours assisting Pharr-San Juan-Alamo CTA members who were asked to vote this week on a proposal to convert their campuses to alternative management structures in return for increased state funding under S.B. 1882. TCTA lawyers kept our members fully informed about the potential risks to teacher rights and benefits.

On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott released a “School and Firearm Safety Action Plan” as a response to the recent tragic school shooting at Santa Fe High School. The plan includes 40 specific recommendations on issues ranging from gun safety to school security to mental health services. It cites TCTA's recent school safety survey and testimony on student discipline.

Cherie Bales of Denver City will serve as TCTA's state president during the 2018-19 school year. Her term begins June 1, when Suzanne Garcia McCall of Slaton becomes immediate past president. Albert Mosqueda of San Benito will serve as president-elect.