Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sine Die and How Texas Education Fared

Well the state legislature adjourned and I was looking at the damage today. Mainly because I’ve not been following the legislature as closely as in the past, and also because as a public school educator, I have a real interest in how Texas treats education.

And educators.

Here are the education-related bills that passed.

HB 1, the budget bill ended with appropriation of $182.3 billion. Public education got a large slice of that and even netted a $1.9 billion increase for education over the 2007 session..

Among other things HB 3646 raises the minimum pay of a Texas public school teacher by $800, or about 55 cents per hour.

Yet another bill will mandate a decrease in the number of students that University of Texas at Austin must admit under the 10% rule. 8% is the new 10%.

HB 55, a ban on the use of wireless communication devices while driving cars in a school zone was passed in the House 138 to 4. Apparently it is a ticketable offense but no set fine was specified.

And then there is HB 772, a new requirement that all of the 4 public meetings of the Texas state school board meetings be broadcast over the internet. That’s right, there will be live audio and video of your school board arguing about whether it says anything in the US Constitution about the separation of church and state.

And oh, yes, $22 million was appropriated to renovate the governor’s mansion. I know, this is not education related but I just thought you’d like to know, if you haven’t heard already, how Texas is using its federal stimulus money.

And that’s it.

I know.

Your state legislature inaction.

UPDATE: Someone who left a comment on this post pointed out that TRS is not the same as ERS. You could have knocked me over with a feather, I didn't know that. So that part of the post was deleted. Now, would someone please tell me why state employees have one retirement system, and teachers have their own separate one?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The .5% increase in HB 2559 is for ERS not TRS employees.