Latest Capitol Updates

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Bill reducing STAAR testing passes House | May 8, 2021 - 3:08pm

HB 764 by Rep. Matt Krause passed the House Saturday on a vote of 136-6. The bill addresses several testing issues, including reducing required STAAR tests to only those required by federal law.

Three education bills go down in House floor debate | May 6, 2021 - 5:41pm

Two bills dealing with non-educational aspects of charter schools failed on the House floor today, and another bill was killed by its own author after an unacceptable amendment was added.

Charter bill voted down on House floor, but may be revived | May 6, 2021 - 1:00pm

A charter school governance bill that is opposed by most education organizations, including TCTA, was on the House floor late Wednesday. The bill failed to pass, with an unofficial vote of 66-72 – but it may not be dead yet.

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In 2019, lawmakers approved House Bill 3906, which says no more than 75% of a STAAR exam can be presented in a multiple-choice format beginning with the 2022-23 school year. Now TEA is seeking educator input on proposed new item types.

After months of intense pressure from education groups, public education supporters and Texas legislators at the state and federal level, Gov. Greg Abbott announced on April 28, 2021, that Texas would release $11.2 billion in new federal funds to help public schools address student learning loss and costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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.