Monday, May 16, 2022

#EducatorsVote

 

            This blog post is short and sweet!  It’s just a reminder that run-off elections started today!  Educators—which, of course, means current and retired school bus drivers, librarians, custodians, cafeteria staff, teachers, nurses, maintenance staff, support staff, classroom aides, counselors, social workers, police officers, administrators, and everyone else whose careers center around serving students—DID YOU KNOW that we have a reputation for not voting?  

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this from candidates over the past 5-10 years.  Sadly, I have found it to be true. Many communities today are “lucky” if 10 percent of registered voters cast ballots in any given election. Obviously, the other 90 percent includes many current and retired educators.

            Why does it matter?  There are many reasons, but high on the list is that many lawmakers have the attitude that they don’t have to spend much time listening to us if we don’t vote. We all know the saying about the squeaky wheel.

            So let’s make a concentrated effort after we vote to post SOMETHING to whichever social media we use with a message that includes #EducatorsVote . This is one small—but potentially powerful—thing we can do to change that reputation. Hopefully, in the process, we will encourage our current and retired friends and colleagues to do the same. 

            For those who need more information about the run-offs:

1.      THANK YOU, Texas Tribune, for posting this great guide. Note that if you type in your address, you will get a customized sample ballot so you will know exactly what will be on your actual ballot at the polls in your area.

2.   Do your research on the candidates, go to Texans for Public Education, and ask family, friends, and others who you rely on for accurate information.

3.    Early Voting runs just one week, today through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Election Day is next Tuesday, and the polls will again be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

BE THE WHEEL!

#EducatorsVote

 

Chris Ardis retired in May of 2013 following a 29-year teaching career. She now works as a freelance writer and editor and is committed to education, educators, and students. Chris can be reached at cardis1022@aol.com. (Photo by Linda Blackwell, McAllen.)


Monday, April 25, 2022

“Required” Reading for All TRS Members

            This post is for all TRS members, both active and retired. If you know me well, you know this isn’t a “teachers-only” blog post. This is for all of us—our custodians, campus and district support staff, cafeteria staff, librarians, teachers, bus drivers, maintenance staff, counselors, police officers, classroom aides and interpreters, administrators, and all of our other public-ed colleagues. There is so much to share with you.

            March 31, my friend Yvette (like me, a TRS retiree under 65) and I met with Morgan LaMantia, a candidate in the Rio Grande Valley running for Texas Senate. We wanted to share a packet of information with her about what TRS retirees are facing—and have been facing for far too long.  I would like to share with you the information we shared because ALL OF US need to fully understand this information.

COLA

            First, we shared with her the TRS History of Benefit Changes, specifically focusing on making sure she knows the facts behind TRS retirees spending the past 18 YEARS without a COLA. (Everyone should know by now that a COLA is a cost-of-living adjustment.) Go to the end of page 19 and the beginning of page 20 at the link above to read about the last COLA. Although it was decided in 2013, it was only for TRS members who retired on or before August 31, 2004. Since then, we’ve gone thirsty for a COLA.

            We also shared the 2020 TRS Benefit Distribution Chart. (The next one will be published for the 2023 Texas Legislative Session.) Look at it carefully to see just how little so many TRS retirees are making. The chart can be viewed on this blog post.

            We asked Morgan to compare the TRS members’ thirst to the COLAs those on Social Security have received over the years. There’s a stunning difference, and of course, most of us will never get Social Security—or it will be significantly reduced due to the Windfall Elimination Provision. (While you’re educating yourself on the WEP, don’t forget the Government Pension Offset, for those of you who have a spouse.)

            The final item on our agenda regarding COLA? We asked Morgan to check out the CPI (Consumer Price Index) Inflation Calculator . I encourage all of you to plug in a number, then plug in September 1, 2004, and then today’s date. Look at inflation since 2004 and yet TRS retirees have not had a single COLA since then.

HEALTH INSURANCE

            Our next topic involved health insurance. When I retired, although my health insurance was still inferior to the benefits all other state retirees—including state legislators—received under ERS, it was affordable. That changed in 2017 when the Texas Legislature completely dropped the ball on TRS retirees. Our insurance is no longer affordable, yet ERS retirees still enjoy no monthly premium and no deductible, except a $50 deductible for prescriptions. Their plan also includes dental and vision coverage. (Meanwhile, TRS retirees under 65 pay a $200-per-month premium, and our deductible is $1500. For married couples, it is $3000—not $1500 per person but the full $3000. We pay separately for dental and vision coverage, and many of us belong to an organization—with a membership fee—to get that insurance. My dental and vision coverage premium is just under $69.73 per month.)

            In March, something rather strange happened. We learned that during the third Special Session of the 2021 Legislative Session, the Texas Legislature threw us a bone to help with our health care. In March, we received a one-time check of $448.12. Sorry if I sound ungrateful. Every little bit helps, but we have been offered one too many band-aids rather than insurance equal to what ERS retirees receive.

WORK AFTER RETIREMENT

            Finally, we shared with Morgan the difference for TRS members who want to work for a school district after retirement and ERS members who want to work for the state after they retire. Click on those links, and you will see the huge discrepancy.

TEXAS TEACHER VACANCY TASK FORCE

            Yvette and I did not address this issue with Morgan because we focused on issues facing retirees, but I thought you might find this funny/disturbing/perplexing/unsurprising

            When I read that TEA put out a call for additional teachers who wanted to join this newly created task force (because the original list only had two and resulted in an outcry), called for by Gov. Abbott to address the impending and expected-to-be-overwhelming teacher shortage, I decided to apply. I firmly believe that one of the factors those leaving the field of education (and it isn’t just teachers!!!) is that they can see that all of the promises made to us throughout our careers about retirement have been shattered.

            So I applied, definitely not holding my breath.

            Last week, I received this letter:

I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone even looked at my application, since I clearly indicated I am a RETIRED teacher. It’s obvious this letter was intended for someone still in the classroom. Obviously, not even one retiree is wanted. More teachers are being added, but look who makes up the majority on a task force about TEACHERS leaving the field!

 

BILL WATERS, CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, SAN ANGELO ISD

In case you haven’t seen this video on my Facebook page, I urge ALL educators—and parents—to watch it. Start at 2:11:25, and then watch and listen as Mr. Waters delivers an impassioned speech about what needs to change if the District (and I think this is true for most districts in our state/country) has any hope of holding on to staff. I am not going to provide a summary because he says it best. I urge you to listen to the comments from members of the Board afterward, as well.

            I, for one, sincerely hope Mr. Waters is asked to lead the charge to make these things happen and that the San Angelo and San Angelo ISD communities immerse themselves in supporting his efforts. If this happens, they will be true agents of change and will lead the way!

FINALLY, INCORPORATE THIS HASHTAG!

            Over the past few years, I have heard time and again from candidates for local, state, and federal office when I speak to them about issues facing educators and retired educators, “The problem is, you all don’t vote.”

            The first time I heard it, I became indignant. But then I found out how right they are. I have many…MANY…friends who are educators and who do not vote.  That MUST change if we expect to see ANY changes in our conditions!

            If YOU vote in ANY election from now on, PLEASE post a picture and use #educatorsvote on the picture. This is the one I posted this morning after voting in the election for South Texas College trustee:

 


            WE NEED TO VOTE, and WE NEED TO SHOUT IT OUT!

            Until next time….

Chris Ardis retired in May of 2013 following a 29-year teaching career. She now works as a freelance writer and editor and is committed to education, educators, and students. Chris can be reached at cardis1022@aol.com. (Photo by Linda Blackwell, McAllen.)

 

 

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Texas Legislature Deals Public-Ed Retirees Yet Another Blow


            As a child, I remember having life-size, inflatable punching bags. They looked like cartoon characters, and sand filled the bottom so they would bounce right back after being knocked down. Since 2017, the Texas Legislature has used retired public-school employees as their bounce-back punching bags.

            I retired from teaching in 2013.  For the first four years, I had good, affordable insurance. But in 2017, without warning, the Texas Legislature raised the deductible for all Teacher Retirement System (TRS) retirees under the age of 65 from $400 to $1500. (Remember that TRS is a misnomer as it actually covers ALL public-ed retirees, including bus drivers, custodians, maintenance staff, police officers, teachers, administrators, librarians, classroom aides, counselors, cafeteria staff….)

Prior to 2017, we also had a co-pay for doctors’ visits and prescriptions. Not only did they nearly quadruple our deductible, but they also robbed us of a co-pay.  Now we have to pay the entire $1500 out of pocket before our insurance pays a penny--except for preventive procedures, such as mammograms--and a list of standard generic drugs. (If a retiree has his/her spouse on the plan, that couple must meet the $3000 deductible—rather than $1500 per person—before insurance kicks in.)

            You may remember that Texas has two pension systems—TRS and ERS. ERS is the Employees Retirement System, which handles pensions and health care for all other state employees. While our deductible went from $400 to $1500 in 2017, the health-care deductible for ERS retirees went from $0 to $0. ZERO. Oh, and their monthly premium went from $0 to $0.  ZERO.  Ours is $200 per month. Did I mention that retired Texas legislators are covered under ERS health care and receive a pension from ERS?

COLA

            Since I retired in 2013, I have not received a single cost-of-living adjustment (aka COLA). According to Consumer Price Index inflation calculator, “ The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.02% per year between 2013 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 19.68%.”  My monthly pension has had a 0 percent increase since 2013.  ZERO.

            You may be shocked to learn that the last time the Texas Legislature provided TRS retirees with a COLA was in 2013, BUT…and it’s a BIG but…it was a 3 percent increase, capped at $100 per month, and it was only for public-school employees who retired prior to September 1, 2004.  Yes, 2004.  So for the past 18 YEARS, public-school employees have received ZERO COLAs.  ZERO.


13th Check

            Despite another Legislative Session spent pushing for a COLA, in 2021, once again, our cries fell on deaf ears. In the end, during a Special Session, our legislators chose to ignore the fact that we have gone all these years without a COLA and instead approved a “13th check,” capped at $2400.  

It works like this:  If a TRS retiree earns less than $2400 per month in his/her annuity payment, the 13th check would be equal to his/her monthly payment. Those earning over $2400 per month would ger $2400. These checks were sent to us mid-January.

            While I think most of us would rather get something, than nothing, it was another punch to TRS bounce-back retirees. My check arrived, minus $346.37. I immediately thought of my retired colleagues who earn far less:

 

 

            Please look at this carefully.  The highest percentage—30.6%--of TRS retirees earn a monthly benefit (annuity payment) of $1 - $1000, and those who retired since September 1, 2004, have NEVER had a COLA!

Latest Blow 

            Just as TRS retirees across the state were reeling from the large deductions taken from our 13th check, we received another blow from TRS via the U.S.P.S. Every January, TRS sends us a letter to show us the difference in our net monthly annuity from the previous year to the current year.  Normally—and I am NOT kidding—it will show an increase of $1.00 or so.  When I received mine, it showed I would be receiving $140.71 LESS in 2022 than I did in 2021.  How do Texas legislators expect us to continue while earning LESS?

            Have you seen the gas prices recently? Grocery prices? ALL prices?  I immediately contacted TRS via DM on Twitter and received a quick response: “…generally, a one-time supplemental payment is treated as taxable income to an eligible annuitant. Your withholding rate will return to normal on your February payment. In February, TRS will send out a new letter with a comparative summary of the January and February annuity payments. This will show the changes in the IRS withholding for your February and future annuity payments in 2022. If you see a higher withholding amount for your January annuity payment, it is likely because receiving the supplemental payment in addition to your annuity payment increased your rate of withholding for the month of January. Lastly please note, the IRS released new annual tax withholding tables at the end of December that were applied to the January payments, so you may also notice those nominal adjustments to your withholding amount.”

             My head was reeling as I read this response.

1.     1.  WHY wasn’t this possibility discussed when the Texas Legislature was once again denying us a COLA and attempting a final-hour, heroic act with a 13th check?

2.      2,  WHY would TRS send these letters out in January, upsetting everyone at a time when there is enough stress related to inflation, our UNaffordable health care, and COVID instead of providing us with January AND February–December payment information?

And….

WHY do public-ed retirees continue to be their bounce-back punching bags?   


Chris Ardis retired in May of 2013 following a 29-year teaching career. She now works as a freelance writer and editor and is committed to education, educators, and students. Chris can be reached at cardis1022@aol.com. (Photo by Linda Blackwell, McAllen.)


Friday, November 19, 2021

Current and Retired Public-Ed Employees - Time for Some Homework - Assignment #2

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

            In Lesson 1, it was all about knowing the acronyms, an all-too-familiar requirement for public-ed employees. It seems like every new program—local, state, or federal—has an acronym. It’s kind of like living in a bowl of alphabet soup throughout your years in public ed.

            Now everyone should know the words that create the acronyms COLA and TRS and what they both mean to current and retired public-ed employees.  If not, be sure to return to Lesson 1 for re-teach.

            If you are a current public-ed employee, you may be wondering why YOU should be joining retired public-ed employees in our advocacy at the state and federal level. That’s an easy answer—because we’re fighting for YOUR future, too!  Whether you are a new public-ed employee or one nearing retirement, what happens today can make a big difference in what YOUR retirement looks like.

            If you are a retired public-ed employee, I shouldn’t have to tell you why YOU should be involved. Isn’t it crazy that, according to the TRS website, “We are the largest public retirement system in Texas, serving more than 1.6 million people.” Can you just imagine for a moment what would happen in Austin and in D.C. if anywhere close to 1.6 MILLION TRS members got involved at the state level, fighting for a COLA and health care at least equal to what our state legislators get when they retire, and at the federal level, fighting for Social Security Fairness?  Talk about a squeaky wheel!

Let’s start with current public-ed employees. 

·        Learn along with us so you can teach your coworkers. 

·         Join in when we have CALLS TO ACTION, contacting legislators at the state and federal level about specific topics that directly affect public-ed employees and retirees.

·         Follow this blog and my Facebook page and make sure you belong to an employee association or union that keeps you informed and encourages you to get involved.

·         Don’t sit back and wait for others to do it. Be part of the advocacy process!

 If you are a public-ed retiree, we desperately need you to get involved, too!

·             If you’re not already, become a member of TRTA, the Texas Retired Teachers Association, and look into joining a local chapter. Annual state dues are just $35, the same amount they were when I joined in 2014. Executive Director Tim Lee has been fighting for public-ed retirees (and all of you currently working who will retire one day) for years at both the state and federal level. As a member of TRTA, you also have access to special group rates for dental and vision insurance, among other benefits.

·             I also belong to Texas AFT Retiree Plus, which was established a few years ago to get public-ed retirees more involved in advocacy for better benefits and to have promises made to us--throughout our careers--fulfilled. This membership is $2 per month. You can include extra each month (I give $5 a month.) so those extra dollars go toward political advocacy. Like most professional organizations, they offer benefits, too.

·             You may want to look at other public-ed retiree organizations. Check them out and see which ones allow you to GET INVOLVED!  The louder we get, the better our chances of being heard and of affecting true change.

             This week, I finally cut the (cable) cord. Although an ATT customer for over 30 years, month after month, I saw my bills rise. DIRECTV had gotten prohibitive, especially when combined with the rising cost of gas and groceries. 

Remember, in the eight years I have been retired, I have NEVER received a COLA from the Texas Legislature. Those who retired long before me haven’t, either, so I can only imagine how much they struggle. I always think about my retired public-ed colleagues who earned significantly less than I did, wondering how they can possibly make ends meet at times like these.

I called and canceled my DIRECTV and went to a streaming service that is far less expensive but that still allows me to enjoy my must-have channels. THIS is just one more reason why our advocacy is so critical and why WE NEED YOU—NOW!

 

NEXT LESSON: What are WEP and GPO, and what will it take to get both repealed?

Chris Ardis retired in May of 2013 following a 29-year teaching career. She now works as a freelance writer and editor and is committed to education, educators, and students. Chris can be reached at cardis1022@aol.com. (Photo by Linda Blackwell, McAllen.)


Monday, November 1, 2021

Current and Retired Public-Ed Employees - Time for Some Homework - Assignment #1

 

Assignment #1

KNOW THE ACRONYMS KNOW THE FACTS EDUCATE OTHERS

 

            Public-ed retirees need a COLA. I’m not talking about the popular drink in the bright red can. I’m talking about a cost-of-living adjustment. I retired from teaching in 2013, and I have never received one because the Texas Legislature refuses to pass legislation that directs the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) to provide it. How is that possible?

            Before I go on, I want to remind you, once again, that Teacher Retirement System is a misnomer because it is the retirement system for all public-education retirees, including our custodians, bus drivers, secretaries, school nurses, librarians, sign-language interpreters, classroom aides, cafeteria staff, police officers, maintenance staff, administrators, and anyone else employed by school districts in Texas. I actually can’t believe that not one Texas legislator has deemed it essential to change the name.  After all, it is terribly misleading.

            According to the retirement system’s website, “TRS is the largest public retirement system in Texas in both membership and assets. As of August, 31 2020, the agency is serving nearly 1.7 million participants. System assets total nearly $187 billion.”

            Let’s take a closer look.  According to the Consumer Price Index Inflation Calculator, “$1 in 2013 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.18 today, an increase of $0.18 over 8 years. The dollar had an average inflation rate of 2.06% per year between 2013 and today, producing a cumulative price increase of 17.75%.  This means that today's prices are 1.18 times higher than average prices since 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index. A dollar today only buys 84.75% of what it could buy back then.”

            And many of us have been cringing as we’ve watched prices on gas, groceries, medications, and more continue to climb. But no COLA.

            You might wonder when the Texas Legislature last approved a COLA for TRS retirees. It’s easy to trace in the TRS History of Benefit Changes. Actually, it was in 2013…BUT…that was only for TRS annuitants who retired on or before August 31, 2004. It was a 3 percent COLA, capped at no more than $100 per month. You wonder why I often say we’re thirsty for a COLA?  Because there hasn’t been a single one for the past 17 years!

            Now compare that to retirees who earn Social Security benefits. Just since 2013, they have received a COLA every year except 2015. For 2021, their COLA is 5.9 percent. For TRS retirees: a big, fat zero.

Did you know most Texas school districts do not allow employees to pay into Social Security? For those of us who are in that situation, the only way we can get Social Security is if we worked other jobs before, during, or after our public-ed employment. But even then, it’s complicated because of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). More on these NEED-TO-KNOW acronyms for current and retired public-ed employees in a future lesson.

            During the Second Called Special Session in 2021, the 87th Texas Legislature passed—and the governor signed—Senate Bill 7, which authorizes a one-time 13th check for TRS retirees, paid out in January 2022. TRS retirees whose pension checks are less than $2400 will receive a check equal to the amount of their monthly annuity. Those whose checks are $2400 or more will receive a check for $2400, the cap on this 13th check.

            How much do you think TRS retirees earn each month? According to the TRS publication, A Great Value for All Texans, here is the 2020 monthly benefit distribution for TRS retirees:

 


            The next time you go to fill up your tank, buy groceries, go to have a medical exam performed, or pick up a prescription, think about someone you know who spent his or her career in public education and who retired over the past 17 years. Think about that person you know not having a single COLA for 17 years.

            No wonder we’re thirsty.

NEXT LESSON: What can YOU do about it?

Chris Ardis retired in May of 2013 following a 29-year teaching career. She now works as a freelance writer and editor and is committed to education, educators, and students. Chris can be reached at cardis1022@aol.com. (Photo by Linda Blackwell, McAllen.)


Saturday, May 29, 2021

Public Education Employees and Retirees – CONTACT GOVERNOR ABBOTT NOW! CALL FOR A SPECIAL SESSION TO QUENCH OUR THIRST!

 

            I retired in 2013 and have never had a COLA.  I’m not talking about the soft drink. In the eight years I have been retired, I have never received a Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) to my pension to help offset the cost of inflation.

            Before I go further, for those who don’t know, the retirement system for public-education employees is called TRS or the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. ALERT! This acronym is a misnomer because TRS isn’t only for retired teachers in our state. Rather, TRS is the retirement system for our bus drivers, secretaries, cafeteria staff, librarians, counselors, maintenance staff, school nurses and social workers, classroom aides, administrators, and all other public-education employees.

            In case you haven’t seen this, you may want to know how much current TRS retirees earn each month in the pension system we paid into throughout our careers:

 


SOURCE: A Great Value for All Texans, TRS, February 2021

               Look at this carefully. Nearly 31 percent of TRS members earn a pension between $1 and $1000 per month.

            Now let’s return to the COLA. As I mentioned earlier, I have not received a single COLA in the eight years I have been retired.  But imagine this! The Texas Legislature has not provided a COLA to any public-education retirees who have retired since September 1, 2004. 

            That is not a typo.  Since 2004. That’s 17 years without a COLA.  Let’s compare that to Social Security.

 

            Did you know the vast majority of retired public-education employees in Texas will not earn Social Security because—through no fault of our own—we do not pay into it while working in the public-education system? Those of us who HAVE worked outside of education pay into Social Security, but we are severely penalized by the federal government through the WEP and the GPO. 

I must save this story for another day, but what I will share with you today is that the TRS pension is the sole retirement income for countless public-education retirees.


            FINALLY, it looked like the 87th Texas Legislature was going to provide us with at least a “sip” after the 17-year COLA drought. But the Texas Retired Teachers’ Association’s reports that the Senate Finance Committee failed to allow public hearings on any of the COLA-related bills filed, and the House Calendars Committee allowed two critical bills—HB 3214 and HB 3507 to die a slow death. HB 3214 would have provided a six-percent COLA—capped at $100 per month--while HB 3507 would have given TRS members a one-time payment (also known as a 13th check), with a $2400 cap.

            There should not have been any excuses.  As a result of action taken during the 2019 Legislative Session, TRS of Texas is now actuarially sound, and providing us with a COLA would not change that. This is the criteria for providing TRS members with a COLA.

            THE TIME IS NOW! RISE UP, PUBLIC-ED EMPLOYEES AND RETIREES! 

          It is important for current public-ed employees to join us in this fight because we are fighting for your future, too.

According to the TRS website, there are currently 1.6 million members. SPEAK NOW OR LIVE COLA-LESS FOR AT LEAST TWO MORE YEARS!  That’s when the Texas Legislature reconvenes.  2023.

            We allowed them to strip us of our affordable health insurance in 2017, which was still FAR inferior to THEIRS.

            Are we going to allow them to do this, too, or are we going to CALL/TWEET GOVERNOR ABBOTT? Only he can call a Special Session. Let us make it clear, we want him to do so and to include a COLA for TRS members on the Session’s agenda.

            Start tweeting him @GregAbbott_TX NOW and start calling his office (512-463-2000) Monday! Let him know 17 years without a COLA is SHAMEFUL!

            Remind Gov. Abbott that TRS retirees devoted our lives to the children of this state, and WE’RE THIRSTY! We NEED a COLA!


Chris Ardis retired in May of 2013 following a 29-year teaching career. She now works as a freelance writer and editor and is committed to education, educators, and students. Chris can be reached at cardis1022@aol.com. (Photo by Linda Blackwell, McAllen.)


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The Texas Senate and Public Education – Follow the Bills

 

In my January 14 blog post, I provided a list of the bills filed in the Texas Senate related to public education and public-school employees and retirees.  At that time, a total of 339 Senate Bills had been filed.  As of late last night, 2142 have been filed, so it was time to update the list of bills that affect our schools and our school employees and retirees.  Please forgive me if I missed any, but I have searched through 4,569 House Bills and 2,142 Senate Bills in the last two-and-a-half days, in addition to 791 resolutions filed in the two houses..

            Before you begin your own journey through these bills, I have a few notes for you.  I will warn you that these notes are almost identical to the notes provided in yesterday’s blog post as the process remains the same.

·         Anything highlighted relates to TRS members, active and retired (also referred to as the Texas Public School Employees Group Insurance Program), as well as SCR 17, authored by Sen. Bryan Hughes, “Urging Congress to repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision of the Social Security Act.” These unfair practices cause teachers, firefighters, police officers, and some federal employees in 15 states—including Texas--to lose most of the Social Security benefits we EARN/EARNED working at jobs before, during, and/or after our careers in those fields.

·         You can use “Find” on your computer to look for specific key words in this list that are of particular interest to you that you want to follow.  Some suggestions are: adaptive sports program, inclusive playgrounds, University Interscholastic League, dyslexia, bilingual education, mental health (also behavioral health), special education, bullying, charter schools, COVID (also disease), immunization, cost of living, assessment (which is used in place of STAAR in the bills), online learning (and virtual learning), school finance, Foundation School Program, dual enrollment, virtual meetings.

·         Note that each bill number on my list is in blue and is underlined.  That is a direct link to the text/summary of the bill if you would like to read more about it.

·         When you find bills/resolutions of interest to you and you want to follow them as they move through the legislative process, you can do so by setting up an account here.  In the far-right corner, click “Login.” Then click “New User?”  Set up your account. 

Ø  Once your account has been set up, click on “Home,” and under “Search Legislation,” click in the “Bill Number” circle.  Type in the bill number of the bill you want to follow.  Then, on the right side, click “Alert List” so you will receive an alert every time there is any action regarding that bill.  (I leave it on “Any Category” so I get an alert by email every time there is any movement on the bill, but you can choose for which actions in the process you want to receive an alert.)  You can also keep a running list of bills you are following by clicking “Add to Bill List,” which allows you to set up different categories so your list is organized by subjects.)

·         In Microsoft Word, where I first copy and paste all of the bills filed, there are 24 PAGES of Senate Bills, to date, affecting public education and public-school employees and retirees.

·         PAY CLOSE ATTENTION and keep others informed, too.

Here goes!  These are the bills filed in the Texas Senate (as of approximately 1:30 this morning when I finished the list) that affect public education and public-school employees and retirees.

SB 346

Author:

Paxton

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Higher Education

Caption:

Relating to the participation of open-enrollment charter schools in the Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) Grant Program.


SB 347

Author:

Paxton

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Business & Commerce

Caption:

Relating to the inclusion of local school health advisory councils as governmental bodies for purposes of the open meetings law and the public information law.

 

SB 348

Author:

Kolkhorst

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to parental access to public school virtual instruction and instructional materials for virtual and remote learning.


SB 369

Author:

Kolkhorst

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the notice required regarding the requirement to submit a financial aid application as a condition of high school graduation for public school students.


SB 373

Author:

Perry

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to State Affairs

Caption:

Relating to requiring public school students to participate in interscholastic athletic activities based on biological sex.


SB 382

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to indicators of achievement under the public school accountability system.


SB 393

Author:

Miles

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the consideration of certain student differentials based on sex under the public school accountability system.


SB 396

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the establishment of school district policies regarding the marketing and commercial advertising of food products on school district property.


SB 405

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the inclusion of a mental health course in the required curriculum for public high school students.


SB 406

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to training requirements for public school board of trustees members and superintendents regarding the adoption of a trauma-informed school standard.

 

SB 407

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to reporting the number of incidents of bullying and cyberbullying in a school district and open-enrollment charter school through the Public Education Information Management System.


SB 411

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to open meetings of the governing body of a charter holder and the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school.


SB 414

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the justified use of force by a school employee or volunteer against a student.


SB 434

Author:

Blanco

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Business & Commerce

Caption:

Relating to the provision and delivery of certain health, mental health, and educational services in this state, including the delivery of those services using telecommunications or information technology.


SB 436

Author:

Blanco

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Business & Commerce

Caption:

Relating to health benefit plan coverage of preexisting conditions including COVID-19.

SB 441

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Criminal Justice

Caption:

Relating to the authority of a county to restrict sex offenders from child safety zones in the unincorporated area of the county.


SB 442

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/18/2021 S Scheduled for public hearing on . . .

Caption:

Relating to local school health advisory councils and health education provided by school districts, including requirements regarding human sexuality instruction.


SB 445

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Transportation

Caption:

Relating to the use of a flashing warning signal light and certain other equipment by a person operating a school bus.


SB 462

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to funding under the transportation allotment for transporting meals and instructional materials to a student's residence.


SB 467

Author:

Paxton

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Business & Commerce

Caption:

Relating to the regulation of dyslexia practitioners and therapists.


SB 473

Author:

Schwertner

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the curriculum requirements for public high school students.


SB 481

Author:

Kolkhorst

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the entitlement of certain public school students to transfer to a school district offering in-person instruction.


SB 482

Author:

Schwertner

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Finance




Caption:

Relating to a biennial study and report by the Employees Retirement System of Texas and Teacher Retirement System of Texas on converting to a defined contribution plan.

SB 483

Author:

Schwertner

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Finance

Caption:

Relating to a biennial report on the investment returns of the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.


SB 487

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the applicability of certain laws to open-enrollment charter schools.


SB 491

Author:

Paxton

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to authorizing equal opportunity for access by home-schooled students to University Interscholastic League sponsored activities; authorizing a fee.


SB 520

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to funding for school districts to provide inclusive and accessible playgrounds.


SB 534

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to immunity from liability of public and private schools and security personnel employed by those schools for certain actions of security personnel.


SB 559

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to teacher certification examinations in bilingual target language proficiency and to certification requirements for teachers in bilingual education.


SB 560

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to developing a strategic plan for the improvement and expansion of high-quality bilingual education.


SB 564

Author:

Gutierrez

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to school district employment policies regarding the notice required before filling certain vacant positions at the district.


B 587

Author:

Springer

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the career and technology education allotment under the Foundation School Program.


SB 612

Author:

Zaffirini

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Business & Commerce

Caption:

Relating to the eligibility of school district employees for workers' compensation benefits for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and payment of those benefits.


SB 619

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to prohibiting a student from participating in future extracurricular activities for certain conduct involving the assault of an extracurricular activity official.


SB 639

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Business & Commerce

Caption:

Relating to remote meetings under the open meetings law.


SB 642

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Health & Human Services

Caption:

Relating to the provision of mental health services for certain children at risk of relinquishment.


SB 663

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Natural Resources & Economic Development

Caption:

Relating to the development of and report on a tri-agency work-based learning strategic framework by the Texas Workforce Commission, the Texas Education Agency, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.


SB 681

Author:

Blanco

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to requiring school districts to adopt a policy regarding the idling of the engine of a school bus.


SB 686

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Business & Commerce

Caption:

Relating to the creation and funding of the Texas student connectivity account; imposing a fee.

SB 688

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the development of a special education services matrix.


SB 706

Author:

Lucio | Buckingham | Hall | Paxton

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Finance

Caption:

Relating to the continuation and functions of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.


SB 728

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the use of average enrollment for purposes of the public school finance system.


SB 741

Author:

Birdwell

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the carrying or storage of a handgun by a school marshal.


SB 746

Author:

Miles

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to requiring the parent of a student enrolled in a school district to provide and update a student's contact information.


SB 776

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the creation of an adaptive sports program by the University Interscholastic League to provide students with disabilities access to team sports.


SB 785

Author:

Creighton

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the expiration of a school marshal license issued or renewed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.


SB 797

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to State Affairs

Caption:

Relating to the display of the national motto in public schools and institutions of higher education.


SB 801

Author:

Kolkhorst

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the development of an agriculture education program for public elementary schools.


SB 827

Author:

Kolkhorst | Alvarado | Bettencourt | Blanco | Campbell | et al.

Last Action:

03/17/2021 S Scheduled for public hearing on . . .

Caption:

Relating to pricing of and health benefit plan cost-sharing requirements for prescription insulin.


SB 838

Author:

Kolkhorst

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to State Affairs

Caption:

Relating to the authorization by a school district or open-enrollment charter school for a person to carry or possess a weapon on school premises for purposes of safety and security.


SB 846

Author:

Blanco

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the issuance of a teaching certificate to certain applicants with experience as instructors for the Community College of the Air Force.


SB 861

Author:

Paxton

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Business & Commerce

Caption:

Relating to remote meetings under the open meetings law.


SB 879

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the qualifications for designation as a dropout recovery school.


SB 880

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to authorizing a dropout recovery competency-based educational pilot program provided through a campus or campus program charter or open-enrollment charter school.


SB 892

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to a school district or open-enrollment charter school adopting a policy allowing a school employee to carry or possess a handgun on school property or at a school event.


SB 894

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the model training curriculum and required education and training of security personnel employed by a school district.


SB 895

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the requirements for a school district improvement plan.


SB 920

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to data collection by and consultation with the Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services regarding the task force's duties and requiring the Texas Education Agency to report on mental health services provided to public school students.


SB 924

Author:

Zaffirini

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Business & Commerce

Caption:

Relating to requirements for open meetings that are broadcast over the Internet or held by telephone conference or videoconference call.


SB 936

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to requiring a school district or open-enrollment charter school to report data regarding restraints administered to, complaints filed against, citations issued to, and arrests made of students.


B 979

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to the indicator of achievement for military readiness under the public school accountability system.


SB 980

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Education

Caption:

Relating to a suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention program for certain public elementary school campuses.


SB 1011

Author:

Hinojosa

Last Action:

03/04/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to measures to mitigate the effects of a disaster on public schools, including personal leave provided for certain public school employees, the temporary suspension of certain accountability determinations and promotion or graduation criteria, the calculation of average daily attendance for the 2020-2021 school year, and a study on methods to reduce truancy rates.


SB 1049

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/04/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to demonstration programs for childhood obesity and chronic disease prevention in certain border counties.


SB 1051

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/04/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to student loan repayment assistance for school counselors employed by a school district.


SB 1063

Author:

Alvarado

Last Action:

03/05/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to courses in personal financial literacy & economics for high school students in public schools.


SB 1074

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/05/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to positive behavior plans of school districts, development of positive behavior best practices by the Texas Education Agency, and reporting of disproportionate discretionary disciplinary action by school districts.


SB 1081

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/05/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the regulation and operation of open-enrollment charter schools.


SB 1082

Author:

Campbell

Last Action:

03/05/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to parental access to curriculum materials used in a public school's human sexuality instruction.

 

SB 1083

Author:

Campbell

Last Action:

03/05/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to parental approval for a student's participation in human sexuality instruction in public schools.


SB 1095

Author:

Creighton

Last Action:

03/05/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to notice regarding the availability to public school students of college credit and work-based education programs and subsidies for fees paid to take certain advanced placement tests.


SB 1101

Author:

Creighton

Last Action:

03/05/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to creating a bilingual special education certification to teach students of limited English proficiency with disabilities.


SB 1108

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/05/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the terminology used to refer to an individualized education program team.


SB 1109

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/05/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to requiring public schools to provide instruction and materials and adopt policies relating to the prevention of child abuse, family violence, and dating violence.


SB 1116

Author:

Bettencourt | Birdwell | Creighton | Hall | Kolkhorst | et al.

Last Action:

03/05/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a county, city, or independent school district posting election results on an Internet website.


SB 1171

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/08/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the electronic administration of assessment instruments in public schools and to certain measures to support Internet connectivity for purposes of those assessment instruments.


SB 1180

Author:

Seliger

Last Action:

03/08/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the indicator of achievement for military readiness under the public school accountability system.


SB 1191

Author:

Seliger

Last Action:

03/08/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the definition of a school resource officer.


SB 1194

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to academic accountability ratings for certain school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, and contracted entities that offer full-time online programs through the state virtual school network and revocation of approval to operate or contract to operate those programs.


SB 1204

Author:

Schwertner

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to requiring the inclusion of certain recommendations in reports on the actuarial experience of the Employees Retirement System of Texas and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.


SB 1211

Author:

Kolkhorst

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the determination of the total taxable value of property in a school district that has entered into an agreement under the Texas Economic Development Act.


SB 1220

Author:

Johnson

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to an application for the establishment of a new open-enrollment charter school campus or site.


SB 1228

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to military readiness for purposes of the college, career, or military readiness outcomes bonus under the Foundation School Program.


SB 1232

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the management and investment of the permanent school fund, including the duties of the School Land Board and the creation of the Permanent School Fund Investment Management Organization.


SB 1238

Author:

Zaffirini

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to matters regarding educators, including the composition of the State Board for Educator Certification, the board's disciplinary proceedings, and a public school teacher's notification of resignation from employment.


SB 1267

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to continuing education and training requirements for educators and other school district personnel.


SB 1277

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to an agreement between a school district and public institution of higher education to provide a dual credit program to high school students enrolled in the district.


SB 1303

Author:

Blanco

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the efficient use and generation of electricity by public schools.


SB 1310

Author:

Hall

Last Action:

03/09/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to informed consent to immunizations for children.


SB 1317

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the training and responsibilities of certain educational entities that have certain responsibilities regarding public school oversight.

 

SB 1318

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the authority of the commissioner of education to conduct special accreditation investigations.


SB 1319

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the applicability of requirements regarding the suspension of a student from a school district of innovation.

 

SB 1320

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the applicability of educator certification and assignment requirements to school districts of innovation.

 

SB 1321

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the state plan for career and technology education.


SB 1351

Author:

Miles

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the donation of food by public school campuses.

SB 1356

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a program to facilitate public school tutoring by certain teachers.


SB 1361

Author:

Bettencourt

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the election of the board of trustees of certain school districts and the powers and duties of the board of trustees of school districts.

 

SB 1362

Author:

Bettencourt

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to prohibiting public schools from leasing, owning, or having a business interest in certain entities and real property associated with those entities.

 

SB 1363

Author:

Bettencourt

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to governmental entities that may partner with a school district to operate a district campus.


SB 1365

Author:

Bettencourt

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to public school organization, accountability, and fiscal management.


SB 1372

Author:

Huffman | Schwertner

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the evaluation and reporting of investment practices and performance of certain public retirement systems.


SB 1378

Author:

Gutierrez

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the permissible uses of the bilingual education allotment provided under the foundation school program.


SB 1389

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to remote learning programs provided by school districts and the calculation of average daily attendance in public schools.


SB 1415

Author:

Creighton

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a study by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas regarding the use of health reimbursement accounts in conjunction with Medicare plans available through the individual marketplace to provide health and pharmacy benefit coverage for certain retired school employees.


SB 1431

Author:

Bettencourt

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the assessment and collection of ad valorem taxes imposed by a school district.


SB 1436

Author:

Bettencourt

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the appeal of a determination by the comptroller of public accounts of a protest of the comptroller's findings in a study of school district property values.


SB 1444

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed


Caption:

Relating to participation in and rates for coverage provided under the uniform group coverage program for active school employees.


SB 1445

Author:

Seliger

Last Action:

03/10/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a parental option to request the return to or retention at a certain grade level for a public school student whose education was disrupted by the coronavirus disease pandemic.


SB 1517

Author:

Gutierrez

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to broadcasting of athletic competitions sponsored or sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League.


SB 1522

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the adjustment of the average daily attendance of a school district on the basis of a calamity.


SB 1526

Author:

Perry

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to restricting the use of personally identifiable student information by an operator of a website, online service, online application, or mobile application used for a school purpose and providing an exemption from certain restrictions for a national assessment provider.


SB 1527

Author:

Perry

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to measures to assist small and rural school districts in implementing a collegiate model and expanding broadband access, including the establishment of the Rural Schools and Communities Technical Assistance Center and a grant program.


SB 1536

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the public school finance system.


SB 1581

Author:

Zaffirini

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a public school campus's election under a campus turnaround plan to operate as a community school.


SB 1590

Author:

Bettencourt

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to rules by the State Board for Educator Certification regarding virtual observation options for field-based experiences and internships required for educator certification.


SB 1595

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the use of corporal punishment in public schools.


SB 1596

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the membership of a school district's threat assessment and safe and supportive school team and committee and the school safety allotment under the public school finance system.


SB 1597

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to requiring school districts to report management fees under certain cooperative purchasing contracts.

 

SB 1598

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the regional inventory of mental health resources for public schools and the statewide plan for student mental health.


SB 1615

Author:

Bettencourt

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the adult high school charter school program.


SB 1618

Author:

Bettencourt

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to in-depth evaluations and reports on certain investments of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.


SB 1645

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to public school accountability ratings, including interventions and sanctions administered to a school district or campus assigned a needs improvement rating.


SB 1670

Author:

Hall

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to immunization requirements for admission to public schools.


SB 1683

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the use of the school safety allotment for a school district's disaster or pandemic preparation and response.


SB 1686

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to indicators of achievement under the public school accountability system, the career and technology allotment under the public school finance system, and enrollment in the Teacher Retirement System.


SB 1693

Author:

Paxton | Hughes

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the program requiring dyslexia screening and testing in public schools.

 

SB 1694

Author:

Paxton

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a student's eligibility for special education services provided by a school district.

 

SB 1695

Author:

Paxton

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to online courses and programs offered by a public school, including courses and programs offered through the state virtual school network.

 

SB 1696

Author:

Paxton

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to establishing a system for the sharing of information regarding cyber attacks or other cybersecurity incidents occurring in schools in this state.

 

SB 1697

Author:

Paxton

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to allowing parents and guardians to elect for a student to repeat or retake a course or grade.


SB 1702

Author:

Blanco

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to course requirements for public high school students and a requirement to collect and report information regarding endorsements earned by public school students.

 

SB 1703

Author:

Blanco

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to continuing education for public school counselors and the provision of postsecondary counseling by certain counselors at public schools.


SB 1716

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a supplemental special education services and instructional materials program for certain public school students receiving special education services.


SB 1740

Author:

Zaffirini

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the inclusion of civics education in public schools, including continuing education requirements on civics education for certain classroom teachers.


SB 1758

Author:

Zaffirini

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to reenrollment of certain retirees in the Texas Public School Employees Group Insurance Program.


SB 1776

Author:

Campbell

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the inclusion of an elective course on the founding principles of the United States in the curriculum for public high school students and the posting of the founding documents of the United States in public school buildings.


SB 1785

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to grants available to school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to provide services to students after a disaster in the state of Texas; an adjustment to prevent generational educational decline under the public school finance system; and ensure maintenance of effort.

 

SB 1786

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the contributions to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas and supplemental funding for public schools.


SB 1789

Author:

Gutierrez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the required minutes of service during each school day for a classroom teacher in public schools.


SB 1790

Author:

Gutierrez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to restricting the written information a public school teacher is required to provide in a lesson plan.


SB 1792

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a leave pool for school district employees.

 

SB 1793

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the eligibility of certain children who are enrolled in a child care services program administered by the Texas Workforce Commission for free prekindergarten programs in public schools.


SB 1798

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to adjustment of the average daily attendance for school districts providing additional half-day instruction for certain students.

 

SB 1799

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the creation of a broadband Internet connectivity and broadband access grant program to facilitate instruction and learning for public school students.


SB 1823

Author:

Huffman

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed


Caption:

Relating to the contributions to and benefits under the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.


SB 1841

Author:

Eckhardt

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the school district property value study conducted by the comptroller of public accounts.


SB 1855

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a survey developed and administered by the Texas Education Agency prior to assessment instruments.


SB 1862

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the creation of a task force by the commissioner of education on students residing in temporary living arrangements.


SB 1869

Author:

Miles

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the election of trustees of certain school districts.


SB 1870

Author:

Miles

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the date on which an election for trustees of certain school districts must be held.


SB 1885

Author:

Campbell

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to open meetings of governmental bodies.


SB 1888

Author:

Creighton

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the establishment of certain programs to facilitate early high school graduation and enrollment at public institutions of higher education and to the repeal of the Early High School Graduation Scholarship program.


SB 1898

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to global and cultural studies instruction and mandatory graduation requirements in public schools.


SB 1918

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the duties of school district peace officers and school resource officers.


SB 1927

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a period of prayer in public schools and at school-sponsored athletic events.


SB 1943

Author:

Gutierrez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the reduction of school district property taxes as a result of the school facilities allotment.


SB 1946

Author:

Springer

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the rulemaking authority of the University Interscholastic League


SB 1961

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the requirements for a request for the revision of a charter for an open-enrollment charter school.

 

SB 1962

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to certain open-enrollment charter school admission policies and the consideration of the number of special education eligible students served by a charter holder in approving a charter holder's application for an expansion amendment.


SB 1965

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to an application for a charter for an open-enrollment charter school and to the expansion of an open-enrollment charter school.

 

SB 1966

Author:

West

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the creation of a Texas Commission on Assessment and Accountability.


SB 1969

Author:

Nelson

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to state fiscal matters related to public education.


SB 1979

Author:

Miles

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to reporting and disseminating information regarding public school disciplinary actions.


B 1991

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to district bilingual and special language programs.


SB 2004

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to expanding the compensatory education allotment to allow funds to be used to implement social-emotional learning programs.


SB 2023

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to providing high-quality tutoring services to public school students, including the creation of the Texas Tutor Corps program, the establishment of a COVID-19 learning loss and student acceleration pilot program, and the use of the compensatory education allotment for tutoring services programs.


SB 2026

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to instruction in informed patriotism in public schools.


SB 2050

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the prevention of and the reporting of incidents of bullying committed by public school students.


SB 2053

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the adoption of a healthy and safe school water plan by public schools.


SB 2057

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a matching grant program for school districts for the development and implementation of programs to address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students.

 

SB 2058

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to individual graduation committee qualification requirements for certain students.


SB 2061

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to information on and requirements for certain courses and educational programs offered in public schools, including courses offered through the state virtual school network.


SB 2063

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to public school discipline policies, practices, and procedures regarding student substance use and substance abuse prevention and intervention and mental health training for campus behavior coordinators.


SB 2065

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to emergent bilingual students and increasing the expenditure requirement for the bilingual education allotment.

 

SB 2066

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to emergent bilingual students in public schools.


SB 2081

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the average ratio of students and teachers in a prekindergarten class.

SB 2082

Author:

Menéndez

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the provision of information regarding certain public assistance programs by public schools.


SB 2092

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a cost-of-living adjustment applicable to certain benefits paid by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.


SB 2094

Author:

Taylor

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the commissioner of education's authority regarding the assessment of public school students and providing accelerated instruction for students who fail to achieve satisfactory performance on certain assessment instruments.


SB 2096

Author:

Zaffirini

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to education employees uniform group health coverage.


SB 2105

Author:

Zaffirini

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to the appointment of an educational representative for certain students with disabilities.


SB 2112

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to a reduction of the amount by which a school district with high enrollment of educationally disadvantaged students or students of limited English proficiency must reduce the district's local revenue levels in excess of entitlement under the public school finance system.


SB 2125

Author:

Blanco

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to an early childhood literacy plan for students enrolled in a dual language program in a public school.


SB 2135

Author:

Blanco

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Relating to pathways to assist students in transitioning from high school to postsecondary education in cybersecurity.

 

 

SCR 17

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

02/25/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Urging Congress to repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision of the Social Security Act.


SCR 18

Author:

Nichols

Last Action:

02/26/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Urging Congress to pass legislation that would grant licensing authority for public school bus drivers to the states.

 

 

SJR 38

Author:

Springer

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Referred to Finance

Caption:

Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation real property leased to certain schools organized and operated primarily for the purpose of engaging in educational functions.


SJR 63

Author:

Springer

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation by a school district a portion of the appraised value of an individual's residence homestead.


SJR 65

Author:

Powell

Last Action:

03/12/2021 S Filed

Caption:

Proposing a constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to provide for a credit against the ad valorem taxes imposed by a school district on the residence homesteads of certain educators who purchase school supplies.

 

 

SR 53

Author:

Lucio

Last Action:

02/09/2021 S Reported enrolled

Caption:

Recognizing February 1 through 7, 2021, as National School Counselor Week.


SR 129

Author:

Hughes

Last Action:

03/11/2021 S Reported enrolled

Caption:

Recognizing April 5 through 9, 2021, as Texas Retired Teachers Week.

 


SOURCE:

https://capitol.texas.gov/Reports/Report.aspx?LegSess=87R&ID=senatefiled

 

 Number of SBs filed as of 3-17-21:  2142

Number of SCRs filed as of 3-17-21:  32

Number of SJRs filed as of 3-17-21: 68

Number of SRs filed as of 3-17-21:  144

 

SB – Senate Bill - Bills are used to make or amend laws. To take effect, bills must be passed by both chambers of the legislature and approved by the Governor.

SCR – Senate Concurrent Resolution:  Concurrent resolutions may be used to request action from other entities, including Congress, or for memorials, congratulations, or commendations. They may also be used for administrative matters. Concurrent resolutions must be approved by both chambers, and may require approval by the Governor.

SJR – Senate Joint Resolution - Joint resolutions are used to propose amendments to the Texas Constitution, to ratify amendments to the U.S. Constitution or to request a convention to consider amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Joint resolutions must be approved by both chambers, but do not require approval by the Governor.

SR – Senate Resolution - Simple resolutions are only considered by their chamber of origin. They do not require approval by the Governor.


Chris Ardis retired in May of 2013 following a 29-year teaching career. She now works as a freelance writer and editor and remains committed to education, educators, and students. Chris can be reached at cardis1022@aol.com. (Photo by Linda Blackwell, McAllen.)