Elections bring new faces to Texas Legislature
Republicans continue to dominate state politics as Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and other statewide officeholders all won re-election Tuesday, but Democrats made gains in the Texas Legislature.

When lawmakers convene in January, 12 more Democrats will have seats in the Texas House of Representatives, reducing the GOP majority from the current 95-55 to 83-67. In the Texas Senate, Democrats flipped two seats, but Republicans will hold a 19-12 majority.  

More than 8.3 million Texans voted in the 2018 midterms this year.

Court upholds USDE's $33 million penalty against Texas for drop in special ed funding
The state's decision to spend $33.3 million less on students with disabilities in 2012 will likely cost it millions in future federal funding after an appellate court found that Texas violated federal law. In a 13-page Wednesday ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals , a three-judge panel questioned the state's method for allocating special education funding.

If states reduce funding, the Department of Education reduces the amount of federal aid by the same amount. Now the federal government has the option to collect the $33.3 million penalty in one chunk or spread it out over several years. The penalty is about 3 percent of Texas' annual $1 billion federal special education grant, according to TEA officials who said the penalty would have minimal impact on special education programs.

Awards honor contributions to TCTA, education
TCTA is now accepting nominations for the 2018-19 awards program, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to public education, the teaching profession or TCTA during the past year. Categories include:
  • Leader of the Year
  • Faculty Representative of the Year
  • Paraprofessional of the Year
  • Retiree of the Year
  • Administrator of the Year
  • Silver Apple Media Award
  • Friend of Public Education, honoring a private citizen this year

Nominations are due by March 15. For details and forms, click here.
Teen to be tried as an adult in shooting at school
A 16-year-old student shot his former girlfriend twice in the school cafeteria. He also fired at her current boyfriend, but missed. The student was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of deadly conduct, terroristic threat and possession of a firearm at a place weapons are prohibited. A juvenile court found that the teen should be tried as an adult, but the student appealed that decision. The court of appeals held that the teenager should be tried as an adult.

Cost-saving programs offer discounts on gifts
As you start holiday shopping, check out the deals offered through TCTA's cost-saving partnerships.

TicketsatWork offers savings on movie tickets; exclusive shopping deals; and gift cards to hundreds of merchants, including restaurants, spas, department stores and more.

Other TCTA cost-saving programs offer deals on flowers, candy and more gift ideas. And if you're planning to travel during the holidays, check out the savings on car rentals and hotels.

  • Nov. 11 is Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice to end World War I.
  • The State Board of Education meets Nov. 13-16 in Austin.
  • Nov. 22 is Thanksgiving.
  • Dec. 2 is the deadline to notify headquarters of your interest to be a delegate-at-large or student delegate during the 2019 Convention.
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