House slowdown kills bills, raising new concerns about special session

A long list of House bills died Thursday when the clock struck midnight long before the House was able to get through its 21-page calendar. Among the casualties was a “Sunset safety bill” that doesn’t directly involve education issues but could have a serious impact on the session.

Special education voucher proposal added to school finance bill in Senate

As the Senate Education Committee took up HB 21 Thursday morning, the school finance reform bill (some version of which must pass if the more than $1.5 billion in new funding authorized by the House is to be distributed), Chair Larry Taylor added a limited voucher proposal in the form of education savings accounts for special needs students.

Education bills moving out of the Senate

The Senate has relatively few deadlines, but bills need to be moving out of that chamber in order to meet House deadlines – the last day for a Senate bill to get through a House committee and be considered on the House floor is May 23. Here are some of the education bills that have passed the Senate recently:

House bills recently passed

The legislative session ends May 29, and key deadlines are now in play. The last day for the House to take up House bills on the general calendar is Thursday, May 11, and that chamber’s calendars get longer each day. Here are some of the education-related bills that have passed the House in recent days:

TCTA member wins 2017 H-E-B Excellence in Education Award

Michael Bailey, a teacher at Omar Bradley Middle School in North East ISD and a TCTA member since 2000, was honored with H-E-B's Excellence in Education Award for Lifetime Achievement in Secondary Education on May 7. Click here to read more about this year's winners.

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Key issues update

The last few weeks of May are the busiest time of the session, and as key deadlines approach the House and Senate are seeing a flurry of activity. Political games abound, though, with the chambers appearing to play “chicken” with each others’ bills.

House votes on TRS-Care, accountability, and more

The House gave tentative approval to a TRS-Care restructure bill, accountability system changes, an end to the current US History end-of-course exam, and more in a busy Wednesday floor session.

TCTA settles lawsuit against commissioner over teacher appraisals

TCTA and the three other major Texas teacher groups settled lawsuits with Education Commissioner Mike Morath through a joint settlement agreement filed May 3.

In a major victory for Texas teachers, the settlement will give school districts much greater flexibility in how to measure and weight student performance data in teacher appraisals as well as removing any reference to “value-added data” in both the commissioner-recommended appraisal system (T-TESS) and in locally-adopted appraisal systems. The four associations negotiated a settlement with the commissioner through the assistant attorneys general who were representing the commissioner in the four separate lawsuits filed against the teacher appraisal rules adopted by the commissioner last year.

Share your TCTA memories with us

TCTA turns 90 this year. We’re celebrating with a feature in our summer magazine and need your help.

In 300 words or less, share your favorite TCTA memory or tell us what you love best about TCTA. Email your stories to with “TCTA turns 90” in the subject line. If you have any photos to illustrate your memory, send them to us as well.

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