Education issues on hold until Friday

With the Senate absent for most of the week, our focus has been on the House, but after Tuesday's marathon Public Education Committee hearing, the House took a break from education issues for a few days. But the House has scheduled four school finance and related bills for floor action Friday.

HB 30 by Zerwas appropriates $1.9 billion in additional funding for public education.

Lengthy House Public Education hearing includes several bills of interest

TCTA provided testimony on a number of bills in Tuesday's House Public Education hearing, which began at 8 a.m. and lasted until 9:30 at night. Much of that time was spent hearing from more than 50 witnesses on the school finance/voucher legislation, HB 253 by Rep. Ron Simmons. 

House passes TRS-Care bill, potential retirement adjustment

The House passed HB 20 by Rep. Trent Ashby on a 130-10 vote Tuesday. The bill will use $212 million of Rainy Day Fund money to help lower costs for both Medicare-eligible and non-Medicare retirees.

TRS bills scheduled for House floor action

Two bills voted out of the House Appropriations Committee last week have been scheduled for House floor consideration Tuesday, Aug. 1. Both bills will help school retirees.

Weigh in on state’s federal accountability plan

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act, which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act, requires states to submit ESSA plans to the U.S. Department of Education for review and approval by Sept. 18, 2017. The Texas Education Agency posted its proposed plan for public comment; comments are due by Aug. 29, 2017.

TCTA Structure: 

After fast start, Senate awaits House action

Having passed nearly all of the bills related to Gov. Abbott's special session agenda, the Senate is now waiting for the House to take action on legislation that includes vouchers, payroll deduction, teacher salaries, TRS-Care funding, and the bathroom bill (as well as more than a dozen other other non-education-related bills).

House Appropriations votes out teacher salary/TRS-Care bills

Thursday morning the House Appropriations Committee approved three bills supported by TCTA that would provide additional funding for Texas teachers.

House Appropriations considers teacher benefit bills

The House Appropriations Committee met Tuesday to hear several pro-teacher bills. One would provide a $1,000 teacher pay raise funded by a draw from the Rainy Day Fund; others would tap the fund (projected to be in excess of $11 billion) for TRS-Care assistance.

Senate gives (bonuses, TRS-Care funding); takes away (payroll deduction)

The Texas Senate passed SB 19 Tuesday, a bill that provides longevity bonuses for teachers and additional funding for TRS-Care. A more controversial provision that required salary increases but did not have specified funding included, leading to concerns that districts would have to reallocate scarce local funding to provide the raises, was removed from the bill.

Senate committees hear salary/TRS and payroll deduction bills

On Saturday the Senate Finance Committee heard SB 19, a salary proposal that also includes longevity bonuses and additional funding for TRS-Care. Sunday, Senate Business & Commerce heard SB 7, which prohibits payroll deduction of association dues; and Senate Education considered bills to provide funding for teacher salaries.