Spotlight Texas

House Bill 22 Overview and Expected Timeline for Implementation
House Bill 22 Overview and Expected Timeline for Implementation

This correspondence is to provide you with a brief overview of House Bill (HB) 22 (85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017) and the expected timeline for implementation.

Read More
Medicaid Overpaid Texas $18.9 million for School-Based Health Services, Seeks Refund
Medicaid Overpaid Texas $18.9 million for School-Based Health Services, Seeks Refund

Texas received $18.9 million from Medicaid for school-based health services that were billed improperly, and the federal government is seeking to get the money back.

The School Health and Related Services, or SHARS program, allows Texas school districts to request Medicaid reimbursement for providing medically necessary health services to qualified children, age 20 or younger, who have disabilities. Among other things, the services can include counseling, physical and speech therapy, transportation and nursing.
Read More
School Finance Deal Still Possible as Clock Ticks on Texas Legislature Special Session
School Finance Deal Still Possible as Clock Ticks on Texas Legislature Special Session

The broad outlines of a possible deal on school finance, despite deep mistrust between the two chambers, surfaced Wednesday after the Legislature's two panels with jurisdiction over public schools showed a bit of respect for one another.

The clock is ticking, and many stumbling blocks lie ahead.

Read More
Senate Education Chair: House School Finance Plan "Not a Long-Term Solution"
Senate Education Chair: House School Finance Plan "Not a Long-Term Solution"

The Texas Senate's education chairman said Tuesday that he would not accept a House proposal to put $1.8 billion into public schools.

During a Senate Republican Caucus news conference, Sen. Larry Taylor touted his plan to create a commission to study the school finance system over the House's plan to reform it by adding more funding. The House gave final approval to that proposal, House Bill 21, on Monday.
Read More
HISD Trustees To Meet With State Officials, Vow To Avoid School Closures
HISD Trustees To Meet With State Officials, Vow To Avoid School Closures

State officials are heading to HISD headquarters Thursday to discuss plans to improve the district’s chronically failing schools – or face a state take-over of the board.

As News 88.7 first reported this week, the Houston Independent School District is at risk of a state take-over as soon as next year.

Read More
With Retired Teachers' Health Care at Stake, Legislators Clash On Fixes
With Retired Teachers' Health Care at Stake, Legislators Clash On Fixes

When David Hatcher got a blood test at his oncologist's office two summers ago, the doctor spelled out his results decisively: "The bad news is you've got leukemia. The good news: It's the kind we can treat with a pill."

A retired public school history teacher, Hatcher might soon be unable to afford the tablets that keep his chronic myeloid leukemia in check - his health care costs are set to rise, whether or not the Texas Legislature can agree in the next two weeks on a temporary fix for the retired teachers' health insurance plan.
Read More
Keller School Becomes First 'Storm Ready' Campus in Texas
Keller School Becomes First 'Storm Ready' Campus in Texas

A North Texas high school has been declared the first and so far only ‘storm ready’ school in the state.

But Keller's Timber Creek High School did not have to make any renovations to earn the title.

Read More
Texas Panhandle School Districts Decry School Choice Legislation
Texas Panhandle School Districts Decry School Choice Legislation

A bill that would authorize up to $60 million in grants for special needs students to attend private schools was officially referred on Wednesday to the House Committee on Public Education.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 2 late last month to create thousands of dollars’ worth of scholarships for disabled students, moving forward on a controversial school choice issue that could affect the Texas Panhandle’s educational structure.

Read More
Senate Approves Teacher Bonus, Retiree Health Bill
Senate Approves Teacher Bonus, Retiree Health Bill

The Texas Senate has tentatively approved a bill on a 28-3 vote that would give many Texas teachers a bonus and reduce health care costs for retired teachers.

Sens. Sylvia Garcia, D-Houston; José Rodríguez, D-El Paso; and Van Taylor, R-Plano, voted against Senate Bill 19.

Read More
She Saved Her Choking Student. The State Tried to Revoke Her License.
She Saved Her Choking Student. The State Tried to Revoke Her License.

When Waco teacher Linda Hampton saw that one of her pre-school students had stuffed so much pizza into his mouth that he seemed to be choking, she moved quickly across the room and performed a finger-sweep, pulling the doughy gob out of his mouth.

Read More