Topic: Health Care

Arizona schools closed today as teachers rallied at the state capitol

Thousands of teachers and their advocates have flooded Phoenix today to demand more funding for their schools. It is the third day of a teacher walkout in Arizona that began last Thursday and closed more than 1,000 schools. The governor has agreed to boost teacher pay by 20 percent, but, as Arizona AFT President Ralph Quintana writes in AFT Voices, there...

Read More

TRS ActiveCare deterioration documented—more fuel for the fire of educator discontent

Public-school teachers are fed up not only because their pay has fallen behind the earnings of comparable workers in other sectors by more than 20 percent, but also because their benefits are getting worse. As economist Paul Krugman has observed, “teachers are having to pay a rising share of their health-insurance premiums, a severe burden when their real earnings are...

Read More

Deteriorating health benefits for Texas school employees are just one part of a bigger story

The April 20 Hotline reported the continuing health-care cost increases and benefit cuts facing current Texas school employees, spotlighting the damage incurred by TRS-ActiveCare participants as a result of stagnant state contributions that cover less and less of the costs. An upcoming Hotline will fill in the details of the damage, but first let’s recognize that this latest hit is...

Read More

TRS trustees deadlock on key pension issue; member costs for ActiveCare health plans go up again

The TRS board deadlocked Friday on how much to reduce the projected rate of return assumed for TRS investments. The assume rate of return on investments helps define how much contributions would have to increase to cover future obligations and make future benefit improvements possible. Four board members agreed with Texas AFT that a consultant's proposal to lower the assumed...

Read More

TRS board faces decisions on pension and health plans—have your say!

Thanks to more than 1,400 of you who already have written to TRS trustees regarding important decisions they are considering this week that will affect your pension and health benefits. If you have not sent your letter yet, there’s still time today and tomorrow.​ The full TRS board will take up these consequential decisions on Friday, April 20. Upcoming Hotlines will report in...

Read More

Austin hearings on high-quality education models, virtual schools, pensions, health care, school aid

The Texas Legislature is not in session, but key committees are meeting and setting the stage for policy-making when lawmakers convene in regular session next January. On April 4, the Senate Education Committee will take public testimony on high-quality education models and on virtual schools. Both labels have been used at times in misleading fashion to promote assorted versions of...

Read More

Voter registration—deadline April 5 for May 5 elections

Quite a number of school districts will hold elections for board trustees or bond elections on May 5. The deadline for registering to vote in these May 5 elections is April 5. For more information, see https://www.votetexas.gov/register-to-vote/index.html.

Read More