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. He reiterated his intent to add more issues once the Senate has passed this legislation, and released a draft of the supplemental proclamation that covers these additional issues.

When first announcing the special session in June, Abbott had referred to a $1,000 teacher pay raise (without additional funding from the state) as well as flexibility in hiring and firing teachers. However, today's draft proclamation is worded quite differently:

Legislation to increase the average salary and benefits of Texas teachers; and legislation to provide a more flexible and rewarding salary and benefit system for Texas teachers.

A recent press release described the plan as a "career ladder," and TCTA is anticipating a strong merit pay component to the proposal. Including the word "average" implies that not all teachers would receive an increase, and there has been no mention of whether increased state funding is contemplated. More details will be available when the actual legislation is filed.

Other education-related issues in the draft supplemental proclamation are essentially as expected:

Legislation establishing a statewide commission to study and recommend improvements to the current public school finance system.

Legislation to empower parents of children with special needs or educational disadvantages to choose an educational provider that is best for their child.

Legislation prohibiting state or local government entities from deducting labor union or employee organization membership fees or dues from the wages of public employees.

Additional topics range from property tax reform to abortion issues to a "bathroom bill." The special session begins on July 18 and can last for up to 30 days.