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Abbott vetoes four education bills | June 16, 2017 - 1:08pm

Gov. Greg Abbott has taken action on all bills passed by the legislature in the 2017 session. The governor vetoed 50 bills, including four education-related bills.

Gov. calls special session, including ed-related issues, for July 18 | June 6, 2017 - 4:04pm

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a July special session Tuesday afternoon. The session, which can last up to 30 days, will begin on July 18, and topics on the governor's agenda include vouchers, payroll deduction, and "flexibility" in hiring and firing teachers.

Major issue wrap-up | June 2, 2017 - 11:20am

The regular session of the 85th Texas Legislature ended Monday, May 29, 2017. The 140-day period was marked by political — and in some cases even physical — strife, and resulted in the lowest number of passed bills in many years.

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Prompted by a May 3, 2017, settlement of lawsuits filed by TCTA and two other statewide teacher groups over teacher appraisal requirements, TEA agreed to eliminate from its teacher appraisal rules the requirement to use one or more of the specified student growth measures in individual teacher appraisals, for both the state-recommended and locally developed appraisal systems. TEA recently issued new guidance to reflect the changes. Click here to read more.

Governor Abbott has now acted on (signed or vetoed) all bills. Unless otherwise noted, all of the Senate bills below were signed and will go into effect immediately or for the 2017-18 school year.

Ten Texas teacher certification examinations will be eliminated as of Sept. 1, according to the Texas Education Agency. Even though these certificates won’t continue to be issued after August, they are still maintained by TEA as valid certificates for the same teaching assignments, and teachers currently holding them can continue to teach in those assignments and are not affected by this change.

This list comprises House bills that have been sent to the governor. Governor Abbott has now acted on (signed or vetoed) all bills. Unless otherwise noted, all bills below were signed and will go into effect immediately or for the 2017-18 school year.

2012-13 TCTA State President Nanette Sissney is one of three former TRS trustees who will be considered by Gov. Greg Abbott when he makes appointments to the TRS Board in the upcoming months. Sissney was the top vote-getter in the election for the at-large seat, a position that can be held, and voted on, by any active or retired member of the system. Rounding out the top three, from whom Abbott must pick, are current trustee Karen Charleston and former trustee Greg Poole.

On Friday, June 2, the TRS Board of Trustees adopted the ActiveCare, HMO and TRS-Care plan design changes and premium rates for the upcoming year. Enrollees selecting family coverage in the higher levels of the active insurance plan will be particularly hard hit, with premiums rising by 16.8 percent for family coverage under ActiveCare Select and 25.5 percent under ActiveCare 2.

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.