2019 - The BAD

HB18/SB38 (Reedy/Gresham)

Expands eligibility for the special ed voucher program to include homeschool and private school students who've not attended a TN public school.




Beverly Berard recently joined the 2017 - 2018 TRTA Legislative Committee.

Jerry Winters, Consultant, Government Relations

Legislation

 Tennessee Retired Teachers' Association

Lynn Tucker, Legislative Chair, reports to

the 2017 TRTA Ra.

Federal Legislation

Caption Bills

Often there are issues still evolving as the session progresses, but aren't assigned specific bill numbers until they are ready to run in committee.  The finished product is then presented as an amendment to what is called a caption bill, a placeholder bill filed earlier in the session.  TEA has its own caption bills, as do privatization groups.  Captions make knowing bill numbers for certain ideas impossible, but it's still very important to call and speak to your legislators about the concepts themselves.  The following are a few basic ideas that will very likely become bills this year.

Capitol Report, 1-31-2018                                     Capitol Report, 4-2-6-2018

Capitol Report, 2-5-9-2018                                    Capitol Update, 4-3-2018

Capitol Report, 4-16-2018                                        Capitol Report, 3-1-2019

Capitol Report, 2-12-16-2018                                 Capitol Report, 4-19-2018

Capitol Report, 2-19-23-2018                     TEA Communication 4-26-2018

Capitol Report, 3-12-16-2018                                 Capitol Report, 2-15-2019

Capitol Report, 3-26-30-2018                                


2019 - The Good

HB66/SB373 (Moon/Swann)

Reduces the weight of student achievement from 30% to 15% in teacher evaluations.  Allows the teacher to choose whether TVAAS growth or qualitative observations make up the difference if in an untested subject.


HB1330/SB1058 (Haston/Dickerson)

Aligns TN community schools law with current research and seeks to raise awareness of funding sources to support initiatives and share best practices in the future.


HB215/SB259 (Clemmons/Kyle)

Requires placement of bleeding control kits in every TN public school and requires the department to develop training for school staff on their use.


HB949/SB805 (Lamberth/Johnson)

Governor's GIVE Act which seeks to expand student access to career and technical education opportunities.


HB946/SB802 (Lamberth/Johnson)

Administration bill requiring school systems to submit a report on how they used teacher raise money provided by the state to the department of education and the BEP review committee.


HB947/SB83 (Lamberth/Johnson)

Administration bill establishing school safety grants to assist LEAs in funding programs that address school safety, prioritizing SROs for schools without one.






















Click HERE for a printable version of the FY18 Budget.


TEA-backed legislation supporting community schools was moved to the first calendar of 2018, but had excellent testimony in the House prior to being delayed. Similarly, a TEA-backed bill protecting teacher pay stalled in the Senate, despite advancing out of House subcommittee. That said, members of both committees acknowledged the merits of both bills, and there will be plenty of work done in the offseason to bring both back next year.



TRTA LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM

1.  Continue to keep the Defined Benefit Program of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System funded on an actuarially sound basis.

*   Assure that the benefits of the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System accrue only to retirees and beneficiaries.

*   Assure that the state's contribution to the Legacy Plan of Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System is never less 
     than the actuarial recommendation.

2.  Monitor to assure that the tuition discount for dependents of retired teachers passed in 2014 is not discontinued.

3.  Work toward tax fairness with adequate funding necessary to address the growing needs of public education and retirees.

4.  Request that the 110th Legislature

*   Improve the economic benefits of retired teachers.

*   Increase the state contribution level to the State Medicare Supplement (Medigap) to improve benefits.

5.  Inclusion of the TEA Legislative Program



TEA's 2018 BUDGET PRIORITIES


1.  SALARY INCREASE FOR ALL- Every teacher needs to receive a 5% pay raise, plus full benefits funding.

  • $1.25 million to teacher compensation
  • Full TCRS funding to keep it strongest in the nation
  • Health benefits increase ($40 million)
  • 5% increase in State Minimum Salary Schedule 


2.  TESTING AND EVALUATION - Enough is enough.  It's time to move to a fair state assessment.

  • End punishments tied to TVAAS
  • Enforce test transparency
  • Repeal A - F school grades
  • Pass moratorium on school takeovers
  • Make Kindergarten and Pre-K portfolio system a pilot year


3.  DEFEAT PRIVATIZATION - Dangerous privatization schemes will be back again this year.  TEA's goals include:

  • Stop private school voucher bills
  • Repeal charter school operators' access to student data
  • Pass reverse parent trigger law to empower parents to take their school back from ASD
  • Sunset IEA special ed voucher program
  • Eliminate SBE powers to authorize charters
  • Sunset the ASD


4.  INCREASE STATE FUNDING - When a school has the necessary funding to properly implement RTI, it is a valuable program for students.        The problem is so few districts have the resources to fully fund RTI.  TEA is proposing adding RTI to the BEP formula to             

    increase funding for this important program.


5.  EMPOWER TEACHERS - Collaborative conferencing gives teachers a seat at the table in defining their working conditions.  TEA lawsuits

    have proven the power of the MOU and its significance in protecting teachers' rights.  It's time to strengthen the law and add good-faith

    language.


6.  STRENGTHEN PROFESSION - TEA is always looking for ways to improve our profession.  We will be proposing:

  • Creating an independent professional standards board of educators to make licensing decisions
  • Strengthening local grievance power to limit State Board interference
  • Streamline the discipline process to resolve issues faster


Tennessee Education Association Public School Advocate Legislative Report, December 29, 2017,


To Track Bills That Interest You

1. Bill Tracker, Tennessee

2.  Go to legislation; click on my bill and create an account.

3.  Enter the bill numbers you wish to track.



Tuition Discount Form for Dependents of Retired Teachers

Click HERE for Tuition Discount Form and Information.