TRS benefit bills receive hearing

TCTA supported three bills in Monday's House Pensions Committee hearing. Although the bills are not likely to pass given the lack of sufficient funding in the pension program, it is important to keep this issue at the forefront so lawmakers can be aware of the need for better teacher retirement benefits. TCTA appreciates the sponsors of the following bills:

Coming up next week

Important bills - including the TRS-Care legislation - continue moving through the process as the final month of the session arrives.

House votes to eliminate component of school funding

Thursday, the House took up HB 28 by Rep. Dennis Bonnen, a bill that would end a key component of the state funding for Texas public schools. HB 28 eliminates the state franchise tax, a tax on businesses that has been criticized by the business community as unfair, and by the education community as inadequate.

House Pub Ed has marathon meeting including TCTA bill

We may at times fault legislators for the decisions they make, but we appreciate the many, many hours of work they perform in service to the state.

TCTA testifies on accountability legislation

TCTA told state lawmakers that a revamp of the state accountability system should include educators’ perceptions of their school climate.

House Pub Ed wrap-up

The House Public Education Committee met Tuesday with another lengthy agenda. The deadline for House committees to consider House bills is rapidly approaching, so committee meetings will be longer and more frequent for the next couple of weeks.

Among the bills heard Tuesday were:

Senate Ed hearing includes bills on dangerous school routes, student surveys

Tuesday's Senate Education Committee hearing included a bill addressing concerns about students who must travel through dangerous areas not served by school buses.

Budget conference committee begins meeting

The five House and five Senate members comprising the SB 1 conference committee held a brief organizational meeting Monday to kick off the process of negotiating the differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget.

Coming up next week

The House/Senate conference committee on SB 1, the appropriations bill, will begin negotiations to see if agreement can be reached on a state budget. Conferees were named this week: Sens. Jane Nelson, Juan Hinojosa, Joan Huffman, Charles Schwertner, and Lois Kohlkorst; and Reps. John Zerwas, Oscar Longoria, Trent Ashby, Sarah Davis, and Larry Gonzales.

TCTA testifies on out-of-state/country certification reciprocity

TCTA testified on a bill (SB 1839 by Sen. Bryan Hughes) before the Senate Education Committee on Thursday that would allow out-of-state/country educators certification reciprocity with Texas.