From elections to TRS, here are the Texas education stories you may have missed this week:
- TEA releases FIRST ratings for districts and charters and reports on implementation of House Bill 5 (2013)
- Early voting is underway for constitutional amendments and a special election in HD 118; candidate profiles now available
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released its final set of financial accountability ratings for school districts and charter schools today. The agency reports that nearly 98 percent of the state’s districts and charters achieved successful ratings for the 2014-15 year under what’s known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST). View TEA’s press release about the ratings here.
In other news from TEA, a new evaluation report was shared this week on implementation of a major academic accountability overhaul by the legislature in 2013. House Bill 5 (2013) carried by Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock (R-Killeen) made sweeping changes to the state’s curriculum and graduation requirements, including creating new endorsement areas for high school students. The new report outlines the extent to which school districts have offered the new endorsements and how schools have communicated information about the graduation requirements to students and their parents. Read more in TEA’s press release from Oct. 21.
Early voting has begun for the Nov. 3 election and will continue through next Friday, Oct. 30. Registered voters statewide have the opportunity to weigh in on seven proposed constitutional amendments, and many voters have bond proposals and other local matters on their ballots. In the San Antonio area, voters in House District 118 are choosing a new state representative to replace Rep. Joe Farias (D), who is retiring. Read more in our blog post from earlier this week, and if you live in HD 118, be sure to check out our new profiles of the special election candidates on our Resources page.
The Teacher Retirement System (TRS) Board of Trustees held a town hall meeting yesterday, Oct. 22, to discuss healthcare concerns for active and retired educators. ATPE Lobbyist Josh Sanderson sat on one of the panels for the day-long, interactive event and wrote this report for Teach the Vote.