Education hearings to start Friday (vouchers, school finance commission)

Senate Education Committee Chair gave colleagues a heads-up that he was planning to schedule a hearing for Friday morning (July 21) on the voucher and school finance commission bills.

Teacher pay, TRS-Care bills filed

Tuesday's bill filings include two major bills for teachers. HB 198 includes what is believed to be the governor's plan for a teacher pay raise, and HB 20 provides new funding to TRS-Care to help lower premiums and deductibles for the next two years.

Special session begins, Senate committee takes up Sunset bill immediately

The Texas House and Senate convened for the opening day of the special session. The Senate, as expected, went to work immediately on the two Sunset bills that will ensure the continuation of a handful of state agencies such as the Texas Medical Board.

Don't spend that pay raise just yet

Teacher pay and benefits have been added to the agenda of the special session that begins July 18. But if a bill passes, it might not be quite what you are expecting based on the initial concept of a “$1,000 teacher pay raise” that was rolled out earlier this summer. Any meaningful pay raise proposal will be difficult to implement unless the House and Senate can agree on school funding issues.

TCTA Structure: 

New information about the special session, and how to get involved

More details have been released about the education issues to be considered in the upcoming special session. The "$1,000 teacher pay raise" has morphed into an increase in average salaries and benefits and a "more flexible and rewarding" system. TCTA urges teachers to visit legislators now; you can also write, email, call or attend one of two upcoming rallies.

Gov. Abbott releases "draft" proclamation covering education, other issues

Gov. Greg Abbott issued the official proclamation addressing the need for a special session to pass legislation to continue the functions of certain state agencies, including the Texas Medical Board.

Abbott vetoes four education bills

Gov. Greg Abbott has taken action on all bills passed by the legislature in the 2017 session. The governor vetoed 50 bills, including four education-related bills.

TEA issues T-TESS student growth guidance

Prompted by a May 3, 2017, settlement of lawsuits filed by TCTA and two other statewide teacher groups over teacher appraisal requirements, TEA agreed to eliminate from its teacher appraisal rules the requirement to use one or more of the specified student growth measures in individual teacher appraisals, for both the state-recommended and locally developed appraisal systems. TEA recently issued new guidance to reflect the changes. Click here to read more.

Senate bills sent to the governor

Governor Abbott has now acted on (signed or vetoed) all bills. Unless otherwise noted, all of the Senate bills below were signed and will go into effect immediately or for the 2017-18 school year.

TCTA Structure: 

Ten certification exams to be eliminated in September

Ten Texas teacher certification examinations will be eliminated as of Sept. 1, according to the Texas Education Agency. Even though these certificates won’t continue to be issued after August, they are still maintained by TEA as valid certificates for the same teaching assignments, and teachers currently holding them can continue to teach in those assignments and are not affected by this change.