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TASB: Legislature Adjourns After Passing Bill Funding 13th Check For Retired Educators On TRS

Texas Association of School Boards September 3, 2021, Report

SB 7, Other Public Education-Related Bill Headed To Governor’s Desk

The Texas Legislature adjourned sine die Thursday night after passing a bill that restored funding to the legislative branch and included funding for the 13th check for retired educators in the Teachers Retirement System ($701 million) and funding to buy down property taxes ($100 million). 

Here are bills related to public education that are headed to the governor’s desk:

SB 3 (Hughes)
 requires the commissioner of education to create a civics training program for teachers and administrators; sets forth items that the State Board of Education must include in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills related to civic knowledge; and lists several things that teachers cannot be compelled to do and that schools or teachers cannot make part of social studies instruction. Read more.

SB 7 (Huffman) provides for an additional check for retired educators in the Teacher Retirement System. The payment must be paid before Jan. 2022 in an amount equal to the lessor of the gross amount of the regular annuity payment to which the eligible annuitant is otherwise entitled or $2,400.

 SB 9 (Huffman) requires public schools to provide instruction and materials relating to the prevention of child abuse, family violence, sex trafficking, and dating violence at least once in middle school and at least once in high school. Districts would also have to amend their dating violence policies to include a clear statement that dating violence is not tolerated at school, reporting procedures and guidelines for students who are victims of dating violence, and information regarding the instruction on the prevention of dating violence. Districts would need to develop procedures for immediately notifying parents of students who are alleged victims or perpetrators of dating violence.

 SB 15 (Taylor) allows schools to create their own virtual instruction programs for students who live within their district/charter attendance zones as long as the district or charter has earned at least a C in the state accountability rating system during the previous year or the last time a rating was assigned. Students who spent more than 50 percent of their time last year in virtual courses must have passed their STAAR exams, earned a C or higher in core courses, and did not have unexcused absences that amount to more than 10 percent of that year. Read more.

Author: Faith Huffman

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