Although the 2013 regular legislative session was a challenging one, TCTA initiated several bills that passed and were signed by Gov. Rick Perry:

  • HB 2607 (Rep. Huberty / Sen. Davis) provides that district grievance policies must allow an attorney to represent an employee in a grievance proceeding (at which the employee is entitled to representation) through a telephone conference call, provided that the district has the necessary equipment.
  • HB 2961 (Rep. Huberty / Sen. Deuell) prohibits a district from requiring current or former employees to choose whether to allow public access to their Social Security numbers, and specifically provides that Social Security numbers are confidential. School boards must adopt a policy that prohibits the use of Social Security numbers as an employee identifier, except for tax purposes.
  • SB 914 (Sen. Lucio / Rep. Ratliff) provides that an ARD committee can determine that a behavior improvement/behavioral intervention plan is appropriate for a student for whom the committee has developed an IEP, and requires that the BIP be included with the IEP and provided to each teacher educating the child.
  • SB 1474 (Sen. Duncan / Rep. Allen) requires districts, before they adopt major curriculum initiatives (such as CSCOPE), to: solicit teacher input; provide employees with the opportunity to express opinions; and hold a school board meeting at which information about the initiative is provided, including costs and any alternatives considered, and at which members of the public and employees have an opportunity to comment.

TCTA also initiated, drafted, or was otherwise heavily involved in a number of other successful bills:

  • TCTA worked closely with the Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education in successfully amending HB 5 with provisions requiring TEA to redesign the STAAR-Alt so that teachers are not required to prepare tasks or materials for the test.
  • TCTA worked with Sen. Patrick’s office on structuring the expansion of personal graduation plans in HB 5 so that the responsibility for their development was not put on teachers.
  • TCTA was successful in getting an amendment added to HB 5 on the House floor (via Rep. Allen) to require that, in order to ensure accuracy in student-teacher ratio PEIMS reporting in the financial accountability system, the term “teacher” means a classroom teacher. (Currently, "classroom teacher" is defined in law as an educator who is employed by a school district an who, not less than an average of four hours each day, teaches in an academic instructional setting or a career and technology setting. The term does not include a teacher's aide or a full-time administrator.)
  • TCTA’s continued advocacy for active and retired school employees in negotiations with Sen. Duncan and Rep. Callegari resulted in provisions in SB 1458 that exempt thousands more active educators from major changes in retirement eligibility, gradually phase in the active member contribution increase to minimize its impact, and expand the retirement benefit increase to more retirees.
  • TCTA worked closely with Rep. Villarreal’s office by drafting provisions related to a statewide online teaching and learning conditions survey for educators, to be incorporated into HB 2012.
  • TCTA worked closely with Sen. Patrick’s office on a comprehensive teacher quality bill, SB 1403 (later incorporated into the successful HB 2012), to remove harmful provisions that would have eliminated the minimum salary schedule, required annual appraisal of all teachers, and tied teacher evaluations to student test scores. 
  • TCTA worked with Sen. Patrick’s office on SB 1720 to include a requirement for math or science teacher certification for applicants to be eligible for a student loan repayment program in exchange for teaching math/science in public schools.
  • TCTA worked with Sen. West to add educators to the Expanded Learning Opportunities Council created by SB 503.
  • TCTA worked with Sen. Hegar’s office to arrive at a constructive solution to school districts’ complaints that current law requiring a special education evaluation to be completed within 60 calendar days of a referral was not workable over the summer months. TCTA suggested language, incorporated in SB 816 as passed, that if a parent doesn’t request an evaluation by a certain amount of time before the school year ends, the district is able to extend the timeline by which the district must provide an evaluation into the following school year.
  • TCTA worked closely with Sen. Van de Putte on HB 1751 to restructure the state performance pay program to eliminate a harmful provision that would have allowed for waiver of the minimum salary schedule.
  • TCTA worked closely with Sen. Patrick’s office and the lieutenant governor's staff to add language to SB 17, relating to gun safety training for educators, to make clear that no employee can be required to participate in the training or be subject to any penalty or disciplinary action for refusing to do so. (NOTE: This bill was subsequently vetoed.)