Latest Capitol Updates

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Final bill summaries | June 3, 2021 - 12:38pm

The following are summaries of the education-related bills we follwed that passed both the House and Senate and were sent to the governor. Because of the number of bills passed and the complexity of many of them, this page is subject to additions and revisions as we comb through the legislation.

Session ends Monday after eventful weekend | June 1, 2021 - 2:00pm

The 87th session of the Texas Legislature ended Monday afternoon, after an eventful weekend culminating in House Democrats walking out Sunday to break a quorum and preclude voting on a controversial elections bill. A special session on this and other issues is likely, but Gov. Abbott has not yet publicly discussed the timing of such a session.

State budget headed to governor's desk | May 27, 2021 - 4:21pm

The only "must-have" bill of the session has now been finally passed by both the House and the Senate, and is headed to Gov. Abbott's desk.

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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.

The TRS Board of Directors met in a special meeting June 3, 2021, to approve new ActiveCare premium rates and plan changes. ActiveCare rates will increase an average of 6.2%, with the Primary+ plan premiums rising by 5.5% and Primary, high-deductible (HD) and ActiveCare 2 premiums by 8%. Only the HD plan will see changes in benefits. Open enrollment for the upcoming school year will run July 12-Aug. 23.

Last March, almost every aspect of school was upended. No one anticipated the pandemic that has reshaped our lives in countless ways inside and outside the classroom. We’ve all learned a lot in the past year — from new technologies and ways of teaching, to how to smile with our eyes and stay connected while maintaining social distance — but some things endured, especially the resiliency and resolve of educators. 

One of my favorite things about being an educator is that no two years are the same. Each year has a first day and last day of school, but what happens in between those days is different from every other year. You can be in the same classroom, teach the same subject, or move to the next grade with the same students, but each year will have its own story. 

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.