/CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/TTV%20logos%20and%20thumbnails/ttv_capitol.jpg?ext=.jpg /CMSApp/TTV/media/Blog/TTV%20logos%20and%20thumbnails/ttv_capitol.jpg?ext=.jpg

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III holds first hearing

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

School Finance Retirement | TRS | Social Security Texas Legislature Curriculum | Instruction TEA | Commissioner | SBOE School Safety Educator Compensation | Benefits

Date Posted: 3/01/2023 | Author: Tricia Cave

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III (Public Education) held its first hearing Monday, Feb. 27, to discuss budget recommendations for the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Permanent School Fund Corporation, and the Teacher Retirement System, among other agencies. 

TEA Commissioner Mike Morath testified and took questions from legislators for about two hours on issues including special education funding, a potential increase in the Basic Allotment, accountability, teacher pay raises, and basing funding on enrollment rather than attendance.  

ATPE Governmental Relations Director Monty Exter testified in favor of teacher pay raises, a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retired educators, increased funding for schools, and lowering teacher health care costs.

Committee members grilled Morath on how much Texas should be spending on efforts to increase the Basic Allotment and raise teacher pay. Rep. John Bryant (D-Dallas) pressed the commissioner on whether funding has been adequate to meet student needs, whether Morath supports teacher pay raises, and how much TEA would ask for in order to create a core curriculum, as has been proposed in order to reduce teacher workload. Morath skirted giving specific numbers, stating those were up to the Legislature. 

If you are an ATPE member, please use our advocacy tools to let your legislators know what you think about this issue.

On school safety, TEA is asking for a $600 million allotment and may ask for more, depending on what is needed to get all schools up to standard. Morath stated more information about how much that would cost will be available in about a week. 

Members expressed concern about the recently leaked conversation between a TEA official and a parent. Morath said he “regretted” that the conversation occurred and assured Chairman Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) that a reprimand had occurred internally at TEA. 

Members also heard from representatives of the Teacher Retirement System. TRS is currently considered to be actuarially sound, which it means the system has enough assets to cover its current and future liabilities. Various questions were asked about the financial implications of providing retirees a 13th check versus a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), as well as tying a COLA to inflation. Committee members also asked about the costs of TRS-Care and TRS-ActiveCare, as well as the state’s contributions to the pension system.  



Martha James

Please continue to keep our retired teachers in thought about The COLA adjustment. We sure would appreciate it. It’s been rough financially especially if you sre ill. Thanks for all you do.

Deann Lee

Great job, Tricia!

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