TCTA member among finalists for Teacher of the Year award

The Texas Association of School Administrators recently announced the six finalists (three elementary and three secondary) in the 2018 Texas Teacher of the Year program, including TCTA member Amy Hooten of Thomas Justiss Elementary School in Paris ISD. 

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List of drugs that will be free for pre-65 retirees under TRS-Care

TRS has made available its list of generic maintenance prescription drugs that will be provided free for TRS-Care participants under age 65 when the revised TRS-Care plans become effective January 1, 2018. See the list here.

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How to help Hurricane Harvey victims

Our thoughts and prayers are with all TCTA members, their families, colleagues, students and neighbors affected by Hurricane Harvey. Donations and volunteers will be needed in the months ahead as Southeast Texas recovers and starts to rebuild. We've put together a list of resources for those directly impacted by the storm along with ways to help.

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New TRS-Care premiums (subject to TRS Board approval)

The TRS Board will vote Sept. 1 to approve the new TRS-Care plans as revised by the legislature during the summer special session. The legislature approved an infusion of $212 million to help cut costs for retirees, and Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill into law. TRS staff have provided information on the new deductibles, lowered premium rates, and other changes that are the result of the additional funding, subject to the Board's approval.

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Legislature adjourns a day early, passes school finance and TRS-Care legislation

The House surprised many observers Tuesday evening by adjourning "sine die" (indicating the final day), a day before the last possible day of the special session. The Senate followed suit soon after. While several of the governor's priority issues passed, several did not, including property tax reform, a bathroom bill, payroll deduction prohibition, a teacher pay raise, and vouchers. But the legislature sent a school finance/TRS-Care bill on to the governor before shutting down the session.

House, Senate move into final negotiations on education issues

The Senate worked into the night Monday to pass HB 21 (school finance) and HB 30 (funding for the school finance bill), approving its own revised versions of the bills and sending them on to the House. The House can either concur with the Senate changes or request a conference committee.

House rejects payroll deduction amendment to school finance commission bill

A bill to create a school finance commission to study the state's system of funding public schools became a "Christmas tree" for a variety of legislators' pet causes, with several amendments adding topics to the subjects that are to be studied by the commission. The bill passed on an initial vote of 142-2.

TRS-Care bill on House floor Tuesday

SB 19, the bill providing funding to TRS-Care to help retirees with insurance costs, has been scheduled for House floor consideration for Tuesday. The Senate version of the bill also included proposals regarding teacher salaries and longevity bonuses, but the House substitute only addresses the $212 million for TRS-Care.

Education proposals still up in the air

There were several education-related developments over the weekend, but no resolution on some of the main issues that teachers are watching.

House and Senate plan weekend work as session's end nears

The House and Senate are both expected to consider major parts of Gov. Greg Abbott's agenda on Saturday, including a school finance plan in the Senate. (The Saturday calendar was not yet official when this update was posted.) The House calendar includes property tax reform legislation and a bill relating to do not resuscitate (DNR) orders.