The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to bring up the budget proposals for TEA (including school finance) and TRS early next week. TCTA will be testifying on several priorities for the session that require funding support, including overall additional funding for public schools; a direct, across-the-board teacher pay raise; increased contributions toward school employee health insurance; funding for school safety measures to employ more personnel, such as behavior interventionists, qualified to deal with students with behavioral issues; and funding for a significant cost-of-living increase for retirees.
The Finance Committee has scheduled hearings through Feb. 21 to consider all sections of the budget, and then will break into workgroups that will fine-tune the budget recommendations in specific areas (such as public education) to develop a revised budget bill that the full committee will then vote on. The House will begin a similar process after House committees are appointed, possibly as early as next week. Initial consideration of the budget on either the House or Senate floor is not expected to take place for several weeks - well into March or even early April.