Forecast for the 2013 Legislature

The 2013 session promises to be full of challenges, as well as opportunities, for educators, as legislators tackle school funding, vouchers, high-stakes testing, Teacher Retirement System, charter schools, and much more.

A number of major issues will confront legislators when they convene on Jan. 8.

• School funding — Highlighted by last session’s cuts and by lawsuits brought against the state by more than 600 school districts, funding will remain high on the list for educators.

• Vouchers — For the first time in several years, there will be a big push to siphon state tax dollars away from public schools to pay for a private school voucher program.

• High-stakes testing — This issue promises to be more contentious than ever, and it may come to a head in 2013.

• Teacher Retirement System — There will be an effort to “reform” public pensions, an issue of critical importance to school employees and retirees alike.

• Charter schools — Some lawmakers may try to raise or remove the state cap on charters.

In addition to those “big” issues, TSTA will have to address thousands of bills and amendments that could have an impact on our public schools and those who work there. And quite often, policy on the big issues is set by amendments to seemingly innocuous “minor” legislation. Read More

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