Topic: Government

Legislative Leaders Call for More Pre-Session Spending Cuts by State Agencies, Including TEA

State agencies, at the direction of the state’s legislative leaders, have already gone through a round of 5-percent cuts in their spending for the current two-year budget cycle. At a Legislative Budget Board meeting today, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, the presiding officers of the Texas Senate and House, announced that they will ask state agencies...

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News from the Texas Teacher Retirement System

Pension Fund:  Texas AFT today urged the Texas Teacher Retirement System board of trustees to review its policies and standards and make any and all changes necessary to bar political interference in TRS investment decisions. Texas AFT spokesman Ted Melina Raab noted the recently disclosed allegations by a top TRS investment-staff insider of politically influenced decision-making, and he said TRS...

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TRS Board Meets This Week to Assess Condition of Pension, Health Funds

This Week to Consider Condition of Pension, Health Funds: The board of trustees of the Texas Teacher Retirement System meets on Friday, November 12, to consider the actuarial condition of the TRS pension fund and TRS-Care health plan for retirees, among other topics. Texas AFT will be on hand to provide a full report. You can tune in to a...

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Send a Message to Lawmakers: Inquiry Needed Into Allegations of Political Interference at TRS

Texas AFT has prepared for your use a letter to your state legislators and legislative leaders calling for a full, independent, impartial investigation into serious allegations of political interference with investment decisions affecting your pension dollars at the Texas Teacher Retirement System. Here is the full text of that letter; you can send it directly to your state senator, your...

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State Teacher Leader Calls for Legislative Inquiry into Alleged Improper Political Influence Over Investment of TRS Pension Fund

Texas AFT President Linda Bridges is not letting up on the issues raised by a whistleblower's allegations of improperly politicized investment decisions affecting your pension fund at the Texas Teacher Retirement System. Yesterday the following letter from Bridges went to the presiding officers of  the Texas Senate and House, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus, calling on lawmakers...

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Texas AFT Retirees’ Concerns Over Politically Influenced Investment of Pension Funds Draw Media Attention to a Pattern of “Questionable Dealing”

Yesterday’s call by retired Texas AFT members in Dallas for a genuinely independent, impartial investigation of alleged political influence over the investment of their Texas Teacher Retirement System pension fund has set off media reverberations statewide. In Austin, the main daily newspaper gave the story front-page treatment, in a story entitled "Teachers, retirees question independence of pension fund investigator." An...

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Whistleblower Allegations of Political Influence in TRS Pension Investments Merit Further, Credible Investigation

Retired school employees drawing pensions from the Texas Teacher Retirement System gathered in Dallas today to call for a thorough and credible investigation into recently disclosed charges by a TRS whistleblower, who said pension-fund managers and trustees have made investment decisions based on political influence rather than the best interests of pensioners. An internal TRS investigation that concluded there was...

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Alleged Improprieties in TRS Investment Decisions: Questions Need Better Answers

Allegations of serious improprieties by Teacher Retirement System trustees and the top TRS investment officer have come to light with the publication today of a whistleblower memo written by a key official in the TRS investment division. The April 2009 memo from Michael Green, at the time TRS director of private-markets investments, was obtained and released by the Bill White...

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DREAM Act Coming Up for a Vote in the U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate is likely to vote tomorrow afternoon on the Development, Relief and Education For Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act). The legislation aims to resolve a contradiction in current law on education and immigration. The students affected by this bill are immigrants, brought to this country at a young age by their parents, who have graduated from U.S. high...

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Compliance With Class-Size Requirements

The Texas Education Agency on September 3 sent out its annual notice to school superintendents on compliance with class-size requirements under Texas Education Code Section 25.112. That section of state law says that as a general rule "a school district may not enroll more than 22 students in a kindergarten, first, second, third, or fourth grade class." The commissioner of...

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State Senator Blasts TEA for Hitting the Brakes on Seat-Belt-Equipped School Buses

Sen. Eddie Lucio, Democrat of Brownsville, is more than a little displeased with the Texas Education Agency, which has decided that a law Lucio wrote requiring new school buses to be equipped with seat belts cannot be implemented immediately and will not be backed by the full $10 million the legislature appropriated for it. The planned funding has been scaled...

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Shortsighted Cuts in Proposed State Education Budget Draw Fire From Texas AFT

Texas AFT Responds to Shortsighted Budget Cuts: Texas AFT President Linda Bridges put out a statement to the media today in response to the Texas Education Agency's just-released 2012-2013 budget request, which reflects instructions from Gov. Rick Perry and top legislative officials to cut 10 percent of all TEA spending (other than per-pupil formula aid to school districts). Here is...

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