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Senate committees announced | January 18, 2019 - 11:56am

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick released Senate committee assignments Friday morning. The Senate Education Committee welcomes a few new faces.

Teacher salary proposals to date | January 18, 2019 - 11:07am

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made a big splash earlier this week when he and Sen. Jane Nelson announced the filing and priority status of a $5,000 across-the-board teacher pay raise. Other salary legislation has been filed, but no leadership-endorsed pay raise proposal has come out of the House yet.

Summary comparison of House and Senate budget proposals | January 17, 2019 - 8:42pm

Lawmakers, Capitol staffers, and members of the education community are all working to review the House and Senate budget proposals released this week to determine how they will affect public schools. Here are a few key pieces to understand:

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Educators who begin employment after Jan. 1, 2019, and are eligible for TCTA membership may join TCTA for the spring semester for half the cost! Get details and a special membership application.

Suzanne Garcia McCall, a fourth-grade science teacher and instructional coach in Slaton ISD and longstanding TCTA member, director, and immediate past president, recently concluded seven years of service on the State Board for Educator Certification. She was first appointed to SBEC in 2011 by then-Gov. Rick Perry as one of four teacher members of the 14-member board. Although her term officially expired in February 2017, she continued to serve as a holdover appointee until Gov. Greg Abbott appointed her replacement this month.

In a 177-page report released Dec. 18, the Federal Commission on School Safety calls for the rescission of Obama-issued school discipline guidance and provides 93 best practices and policy recommendations for improving safety at schools across the country. The report refrains from proposals of new federal guidance, saying there is no one-size-fits-all approach to prevent school violence and keep students safe. Instead, it encourages states and local districts to adopt proven policies on mental health treatment and school building security.

The TRS Board met Dec. 13 and 14 in Austin with a few key items on the agenda. The board received a briefing on the actuarial status of the pension fund, learning that, as expected, recent board action resulted in lowered financial indicators. Trustees were also provided with TRS staff's update of a 2013 study that reaffirms the cost-effectiveness of the current structure of the pension plan.

During a December meeting, Texas Education Agency staff presented the State Board for Educator Certification with a phased-in certification redesign proposal that would require teacher certification candidates to pass a subject-specific pedagogical performance assessment before becoming certified, starting in 2022-23. Still in the discussion stages, the new requirements would not apply to currently certified teachers adding certification by examination.

Republicans continue to dominate state politics as Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and other statewide officeholders all won re-election Tuesday, but Democrats made gains in the Texas Legislature.

Our statewide awards honor those who have made outstanding contributions to public education, the teaching profession or TCTA during the past year. Participation in the awards program is an opportunity for TCTA local affiliates and members-at-large to publicly recognize local members and others who impact their schools and profession. It's also a great way for CTAs to attract positive attention from the media, peers and administrators. Nominations are due by March 15, 2019. Click here for more information.

After the Texas Education Agency announced in late September that it was accepting waiver requests from school districts that are unable to provide bilingual or English as a Second Language certified teachers for the required bilingual and ESL programs, it then published a document specifying that school districts applying for these waivers can use state bilingual allotment funds to reimburse teachers for certification tes

U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA) have re-filed a late-session bill that would revise the calculation of benefits for Texas teachers and other employees who are currently subject to the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The bill also was filed in the Senate by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as S. 3526. Given that Congress is in its last several weeks of the current congressional session, the bills are unlikely to progress.

The Texas Education Agency is seeking educators to work with its contractor, Safal Partners, to review English language arts and reading instructional materials in grades 3-8 to evaluate their quality.