TCTA testifies about reducing teacher training requirements during Senate committee hearing
TCTA's Holly Eaton gave invited testimony about reducing teacher training requirements to the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday as a subgroup leader of a Teacher Workforce Workgroup convened by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.

During a seven-month process, the workgroup conducted a thorough review of teacher training requirements and arrived at 35 recommendations to revise statute or TEA rule and establish fewer but more meaningful teacher requirements, enabling educators to more freely select training opportunities to improve their craft. Click here to read more.
8 districts to pilot program for rapid COVID-19 testing

TEA announced Wednesday that eight school systems would take part in a pilot program for rapid COVID-19 testing. Staff and students (with parental consent) will be able to get free tests with results in about 15 minutes. Those participating in the pilot are Fabens, Granger, Harlingen, Lampasas, Longview, and Ysleta school districts, and the Bob Hope School in Port Arthur and Grace Community School in Tyler. Other public and private schools interested in the program can apply through Oct. 28.

Cases climb in many Texas school districts
The rapid testing comes as the state's number of positive cases has started to rise. In all regions of the state, several campuses and districts have temporarily returned to remote learning, according to media reports. (Find links in TCTA's education headlines.) Districts in El Paso extended their fall break amid a spike in cases. A recent Texas Tribune/University of Texas poll on COVID-19 found that 55% of respondents think controlling the virus is more important than schools being open, even if that means virtual learning. Only 34% said learning should take place in person. But several districts in smaller, more rural areas have decided to end remote learning, including Harmony, Yantis and Grand Saline ISDs, in part because many remote learners are failing classes.

Check out what's new in our COVID-19 FAQs

We continue to update our COVID-19 FAQs on 2020-21 Education Issues to help members understand guidance from federal and state officials.
While this information is not legal advice, we hope it helps answer questions you may have about COVID-19's impact on schools. Members who have specific concerns or questions should call the Legal Department at 888-879-8282 to speak with a staff attorney.
Diane Ravitch offers inspiration for teachers on Wednesday

Feeling a little deflated this school year? Get inspired by public education advocate and author Diane Ravitch at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 21. Presented by Pastors for Children and sponsored by TCTA, this hourlong session aims to motivate and encourage educators. Ravitch, a nationally renowned expert and blogger, will talk some about her new book, "Slaying Goliath: The Passionate Resistance to Privatization and the Fight to Save America's Schools." Click here to register for this free event.
Have you voted yet?

Record turnout has been reported in several cities as early voting began Tuesday in the Nov. 3 general election. Early voting ends Oct. 30, and Oct. 23 is the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot. Check out TexasTeachersVote.org for more about candidates for the Texas House and Senate, including voting records on education issues and survey responses, and go to Vote411.org to see what's on the ballot where you live.
Nominations for Senate Youth Program due Nov. 13

TEA is seeking nominations for the United States Senate Youth Program, which will hold a virtual Washington Week March 14-18. Outstanding juniors and seniors are eligible for the program. Teachers and counselors are encouraged to offer input to their principals, who must submit applications to TEA by Nov. 13. Click here for more information.
Encourage your colleagues to join TCTA with Take 2/Make $25!

We put together this video of the Top 10 Reasons to Join TCTA. Share it with your colleagues and encourage them to join TCTA. You could earn $25 for every two eligible Active-level members you recruit through Dec. 31 with our Take 2/Make $25 program. Click here for details.
  • Oct. 23 is the deadline to apply to be be a Spanish resource reviewer.
  • Oct. 31 is Halloween.
  • Fall back: Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1.
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