The special session adjourned Tuesday, August 15, without the House and Senate coming to agreement on many of the governor’s 20 priorities. While several of the issues identified by the governor related to school districts—including teacher pay increases, creation of a school finance study commission, and prohibition of schools allowing teachers to pay for association dues via paycheck deductions—only one bill passed that really impacted public education: House Bill (HB) 21. It was signed by the governor on Wednesday, August 16.
HB 21 will provide some relief for retired educators by carving out $212 million to help offset hefty TRS-Care premiums during the 2018 and 2019 plan years. The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) Board of Trustees approved the TRS-Care plan changes at its September 1 board meeting. The bill also will create the Texas Commission on Public School Finance to recommend improvements to the current school finance system or new methods of financing public schools by December 31, 2018.