The Texas Senate passed a bill that would provide funding for teacher bonuses and retirement benefits, slashing a controversial provision that would require school districts to increase teacher salaries without additional state money.
The Texas Senate Finance Committee approved a bill Saturday that would put one-time influxes of money toward the Teacher Retirement System and teacher bonuses, and require districts to fund $1,000 in teacher pay raises.
The Texas Senate Education Committee passed a bill that would create a "private school choice" program to subsidize private school tuition for kids with special needs, and a bill to study the school finance system.
In what seems to be an overture to the House, Gov. Greg Abbott added two new education-related issues to his special session call Thursday: school finance reform and increased benefits for retired teachers.
Days before the special session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick rolled out a specific plan to give retired and long-term teachers up to $1,000 in additional bonuses, using money from the Texas Lottery over the long-term.
Gov. Greg Abbott's special session agenda will include a call for a $1,000 pay raise for teachers. But he's not offering state money to pay for it — and he's not necessarily talking about giving every public school teacher a $1,000 check, either.
A plurality of Texas voters think the state should be spending more on public and higher education, but those numbers hide differences between conservatives and liberals, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.
Superintendents in hundreds of Texas school districts rely on a pot of state funds that expires in September. Without drastic cost-saving measures, some districts are worried they may have to shut down.
The Senate and House negotiated a compromise on how to tweak a statewide plan for grading schools and districts. Educators and advocates are asking why the overhaul happened so late, without their official input.
The bill Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law on Thursday requires principals and superintendents to report cases of teachers having inappropriate relationships with students or face a state jail felony or a fine of up to $10,000.