Senate Ed approves TCTA bill

The Senate Education Committee voted out a handful of bills at its Tuesday meeting, including a TCTA bill (SB 1634 by Chair Taylor) heard last week that ensures that districts reducing their number of instructional days can reduce the required teacher days proportionately with no reduction in salary.

TCTA testifies against TRS-Care bill

TCTA testified against Senate Bill 788 by Chairwoman Joan Huffman in a Senate State Affairs hearing held Monday, April 3. The bill is intended to help curb costs and increase funding to maintain solvency, but TCTA argued that the costs on retirees were too high, and that more funding is necessary. The bill was voted favorably out of committee Monday afternoon.

Coming up next week

The week of April 3 begins with a hearing on SB 788, legislation that would limit the health coverage available to retirees under age 65.

Hearing held on TCTA appraisal lawsuit

A hearing was held in Travis County District Court on Wednesday, March 29, in the case of TCTA v. Morath. TCTA filed a lawsuit against Education Commissioner Mike Morath over the appraisal rule that requires locally adopted appraisal systems to use the definition of "performance of teachers' students" used in the appraisal system recommended by the commissioner, which is T-TESS.

TCTA bills on teacher working days get Senate Ed hearing

The Senate Education Committee considered several bills Thursday, including two TCTA bills that would affect the number of days worked by teachers.

Senate approves final passage of payroll deduction bill

In what was essentially a formality, the Senate gave final approval Thursday to SB 13, the payroll deduction legislation. Once again the vote was strictly along party lines, with the Senate's 20 Republicans voting for the bill and the 11 Democrats voting against.

Senate passes voucher bill

The Texas Senate passed SB 3, a bill creating two forms of private school vouchers in Texas. The key vote on the bill was the vote to bring the bill to the floor for debate, and that vote was 19-12 — somewhat along party lines, although Democrat Eddie Lucio Jr. voted to bring the bill to the floor and Republicans Robert Nichols and Kel Seliger voted against.

Payroll deduction bill passes on initial vote; voucher bill postponed

SB 13, the bill that would prohibit school districts and other governmental entities from allowing their employees to pay association dues by payroll deduction, tentatively passed the Texas Senate on a 20-11, partisan vote. All 20 Senate Republicans voted for the bill; the 11 Democrats against.

Senate passes budget amid early rumors of special session

Even as Capitol insiders are whispering about the possibility of a special session, the Senate moved forward with its version of the state budget

House Pub Ed passes school finance bill

The House Public Education Committee passed out House Bill 21, a school finance plan that will distribute more than $1.5 billion in additional funds to Texas public schools. The House budget includes an appropriation to cover those costs that is contingent on final passage of this (or similar) legislation.