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Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: Aug. 18, 2023

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 8/18/2023

The ATPE Governmental Relations team recaps the past week’s education news, legislative and election updates, and regulatory developments.

SELECT COMMITTEE: ATPE Lobbyist Tricia Cave takes a deeper look in this blog post at the House Select Committee on Educational Opportunity and Enrichment’s report, which was released Aug. 11. The report’s recommendations largely rehash legislation that failed to pass during the regular session, with the select committee seemingly proposing a compromise on voucher legislation that would be acceptable to neither ATPE and other public education advocates nor to Gov. Greg Abbott (R). “Public educators are opposed to compromising the future of public schools and the students they serve,” ATPE Executive Director Shannon Holmes said in a statement. “In other words, they continue to be opposed to vouchers—in any form.”  

TRS SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENT: In September, the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Texas will send annuitants the largest one-time supplemental payment in the system’s history. ATPE Governmental Relations Director Monty Exter shares important information retired educators should know in this blog post.  

ATPE IN THE NEWS: NBCDFW interviewed ATPE Senior Lobbyist Mark Wiggins about the report from the House Select Committee on Educational Opportunity and Enrichment. ATPE Governmental Relations Director Monty Exter spoke with News 4 San Antonio about staffing challenges facing school districts across the state as the school year begins, and Del Valle ATPE President Cristela Rocha was interviewed by CBS Austin about why she is seeing colleagues leaving the public education profession.  

TRS-CARE HEALTH FAIRS: TRS is holding 21 free health fairs across the state this fall for retired Texas public educators. The fairs kick off Sept. 12 in Round Rock and wrap up Oct. 26 in Longview. These come-and-go events run from 9 a.m. to noon local time and provide opportunities to speak with health plan vendors, meet TRS staff, learn about Medicare, and more. Find details about your local health fair and sign up to attend here. 

TRS LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: TRS has released its Summer 2023 newsletters for active educators and retired educators. Among other useful information, the newsletters include a legislative update covering bills passed during the 88th Legislature’s regular session that affect TRS, including Senate Bill 10’s benefit enhancements for eligible retirees, scheduled contribution rate increases, authorization to fund an additional regional office, and more.

TEXAS TRIBUNE FESTIVAL: Students and educators may purchase discounted tickets to The Texas Tribune Festival, Sept. 21–23 in downtown Austin. The event features 100-plus interviews and panel discussions with nearly 300 speakers. See the full program and get discounted tickets today.

FALL 2023 ATPE NEWSThe Fall 2023 issue of ATPE News, the association’s quarterly digital magazine, is now available. Don’t miss features on student homelessness and esports programs in schools, as well as the Your Voice column by ATPE Governmental Relations Director Monty Exter: “Three Easy Steps for Turning Anger into Action at the Capitol.”


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