Teachers

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard:

With the possibility need for social distancing extending well beyond spring break, parents and educators are starting to plan for the possibility of schools being closed through the end of the academic year.

Jill Ament/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

As Texas lawmakers begin tackling one of this session's top legislative priorities – school finance reform – a state Senate measure proposes giving public-school teachers a raise. How much money is on the table and what difference would it make for teachers living paycheck to paycheck? It depends on whom you ask and where you live.

Photo courtesy of Karen Sowers

From Texas Standard:

"What My Students Taught Me" is produced in partnership with the Teacher Project at Columbia Journalism School.

For her first four years teaching history at Lakeview High School in the Dallas suburb of Garland, Karen Sowers didn’t have any big challenges. That changed the day she met Donald Pierson, 29 years ago.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Heading into Election Day, there’s a lot on the minds of Texas’ some 1.1 million current and retired public educators. As part of our Texas Decides series, we checked in with Texas teachers and education advocates about some of their concerns as they go out to vote.

John Jordan/The Texas Tribune

After exploring the idea and stirring worries and warnings from retired teachers and elected officials, the Teacher Retirement System of Texas opted Friday not to raise monthly health care premiums for a group of nearly 68,000 retired teachers.

Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is urging the Teacher Retirement System not to raise health care premiums for retired teachers, arguing that state lawmakers should take on the burden of increased costs.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

After teaching for 36 years in the Rio Grande Valley, Rosalva Reyna looked at her pension and health plan in July 2016 and decided she could live a comfortable life and finally retire.

Reyes thought "no more work." But that quickly changed, she said.

“At this point. I’m seriously considering going back to work," Reyna said. "A retired teacher going back to work — so I can pay my medical [bills].”

Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard.

You’ve heard the saying – the only certainties in life are death and taxes. Of the two, taxes are arguably less painful. Death, on the other hand, is a reality so serious that most of us don’t expose our children to the concept, unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The Texas House has approved taking money from a state emergency savings fund to pay to temporarily bolster the state-run health insurance program for retired teachers.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Retired Texas teachers are closer to seeing some relief from higher health care deductibles, and current teachers may be seeing more money in the near future, too. But some teacher groups are worried the push to help teachers is more political than substantive.

Mengwen Cao / KUT

The special session is underway, and of the 20 items Gov. Greg Abbott says he wants lawmakers to tackle, one is getting a lot of attention from teachers.

"I want legislation on my desk that increases teacher pay by $1,000,” Abbott said. “To achieve that, Texas doesn’t need to spend more, it just needs to spend smarter.”

Bob Daemmerich/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Just four days before the start of the special legislative session, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has spelled out plans to give longevity bonuses to public school teachers, and boost benefits for retired teachers.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Proposes Millions For Teacher Bonuses And Retirement

Jul 13, 2017
Marjorie Kamys Cotera

With less than a week before the start of a special session of the Texas Legislature, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick laid out a proposal Thursday to give teachers bonuses and increase their retirement benefits, with plans to pay for both long-term using money from the Texas lottery. 

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Last fall, with little fanfare, the Texas Teachers Retirement System, or TRS, set up an office in London. That means that Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union could be felt a little closer to home for the state’s 1.4 million public education employees and retirees.


Flickr/cleopold73 (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Just in time for the start of school, The New York Times reports that there’s a shortage of teachers. Across the country, school districts have gone from refusing to renew contracts to scrambling to hire teachers. This shortage is seen particularly in math, science and special education, and it's a result of the layoffs from the recession years, as well as an improving economy in which fewer people are training to be teachers.

The issue is so critical that some systems are allowing new hires to train on the job and bringing in people who are still finishing their teaching credentials. According to the Times, the situation is most critical in Louisville, Nashville, Oklahoma City and Providence. However, Texas also fares low.

Texas Tribune

In the wake of school shootings -- Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst says he wants government-funded weapons training for teachers.  Dewhurst is asking State Senators to explore such a program and provide recommendations.

"The training involved with the concealed handgun law license is not sufficient in my judgment to have that person trained for an event involving an active shooter," Dewhurst said.

KUT News

Supreme Court Health Care Decision Expected

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act possibly as soon as today.

The controversial law is the Obama administration’s most touted accomplishment. President Obama calls it "the most important piece of social policy since the Social Security Act in the 1930s, and the most important reform of our health care system since Medicare passed in the 1960s."