Enrollment & Attendance Projections Survey
We are trying to gain a better understanding of where school district enrollment is for the 2020-2021 school year so we can best support our member districts. Please take a few minutes to respond to this brief survey.

And it's ok if more than one person completes this survey per district. We would rather have multiple answers from your district as opposed to none. Please just give us the best information you have. Thank you!
Salary & Wage Increase Survey
Now let's talk about the survey tool TEA made available back in September to collect data on the increased compensation paid to district staff under the requirements of HB 3. The Commissioner himself said this survey is an optional tool and that districts can choose to comply by other means. This message is intended to provide you with the facts, along with your options, so you can make the decision about the best way for your district to comply.

What HB 3 required for compensation increases
First, let's look back on exactly what is required under Texas Education Code 48.051(c). That section of law requires that in any school year when the basic allotment is increased (as it was for the 2019-20 school year), then districts must use at least 30 percent of the increased amount (above the preceding school year) on a per ADA basis to provide compensation increases for full-time district employees. Within the amount, 75% must be used for minimum salary schedule employees, prioritizing teachers with more than five years of experience, and 25% may be used for other full-time employees (other than administrators).

What HB 3 requires for reporting compensation increases
When the bill was up for debate on the House floor, Rep. Sergio Munoz (D-Palmview) added an amendment that states:

Not later than December 1, 2020, each school district shall submit to the legislature a report on salary or wage increases provided to district employees under Section 48.051(c), Education Code, as added by this Act, for the 2019-2020 school year. The report must include for each salary or wage increase: 
(1) the employee ’s position at the school district; and  
(2) the amount of the increase. 

What districts need to do
If you plan to use the tool that TEA offered to help districts submit the data required by the Munoz amendment (and a lot of data that is not), then you need to complete that survey with the agency by the deadline they established of October 9 (that's this Friday).

But before you do that, please keep reading to make sure the method you choose is best for your district. Many districts have noted the extraordinary amount of time to submit data using TEA's format. Additionally, data submitted through this survey will be submitted without explanation and will be produced into a spreadsheet that legislators can sort, filter, and calculate numbers from without the context of what those numbers may mean.

Please consider the following, depending which category (or categories) applies to your district:

My district met/exceeded the requirement to provide increased compensation
If your district met or exceeded the requirement to provide increased compensation for employees, then you probably want to appear on any and every list to document that. As long as the amount of data required by the agency isn't beyond what limited capacity district staff may have at the moment to complete such a survey by Friday, then go ahead and submit your data using the TEA survey. If this task is beyond district staff capacity at the moment, you have alternatives, so keep reading.

My district did not receive increased funding
If your district did not receive increased funding in the 2019-20 school year (compared to the 2018-19 school year), then TEA says you are not required to submit any data to the state because your district was not required to provide increased compensation.

However, it may be important for your district to still submit that data USING THE TEA SURVEY to make it clear that you received less funding and therefore were not required (nor were you able) to provide compensation increases. That negative number would then appear on any reports that are produced from the collected survey results. It should be fairly easy to submit this limited amount of data, as no increases were given.

My district received temporary transition aid
There are over 300 districts in the state that received either Formula Transition Grants or the Equalized Wealth Transition Grant (some received both). This transition aid is temporary on all fronts. Some Formula Transition Grants will expire after the current school year, while most will continue until expiring after the 2023-24 school year. The Equalized Wealth Transition Grants will continue to shrink in size until completely expiring after 2024 as well.

Knowing that the increased funding the district received is temporary in nature and will expire in the future, some districts made the fiscally sound decision to not commit diminishing funds to compensation increases that the district could not possibly afford in future years. The TEA survey calls for using these temporary funds to calculate the increase used to determine the 30% for required compensation increases.

You may want to submit your data to legislators outside the TEA survey so that you can provide a cover letter message with an explanation and some context to accompany your data.

My district feels this survey is beyond the bandwidth we have at the moment
Many district staff are barely keeping their heads above water at this point, and reporting salary data from the last school year falls low on the list of priorities compared to taking care of students and staff during the current school year. Meeting a Friday deadline with this complex information that must be reported by Role ID in a format not all districts typically keep data is just too much to ask right now. The TEA survey goes far above the minimum requirements spelled out in law.

If your district finds yourself in this situation, you can certainly submit your data outside the TEA survey, and if you do, it can be a much simpler submission and the deadline is December 1, 2020.

What if my district wants to submit data outside the TEA survey?
If you decide that it is best for your district to submit the required data outside the TEA survey, here is what we recommend.

Create a spreadsheet or table that lists each employee's position that received a salary or wage increase and the amount of the increase. Here is an example. You can choose to list the increase provided to each position (for example, all Teachers on Step 4 received the exact same increase, so you could list it once). Or you can also choose to list the increase for each and every position (you have 250 teachers, and you can list teacher 250 times with the amount of increase beside each position). This is your call on whatever you think is best.

The requirements in law do not require that districts submit information about your salary schedule, the amount of your total gain per ADA, or the gains by role ID.

You can also add a cover letter to give your data some context, and include some facts about what funding levels will be required in order to maintain these compensation increases in the future.

How do I submit my own data outside the survey?
By December 1, 2020, submit your response to all 181 members of the Texas Legislature via email. If you prefer to submit via US Postal mail, you can do that instead.

The links below will allow you to download a list of email addresses for all 181 members of the Texas Legislature. While it would be convenient to send one message to all 181 members, the system will not allow you to do that, and the messages will be blocked. We recommend that you break the list down into groups of 10 or less and send 19 emails (unless your IT staff knows a better way!). Keep in mind that whoever sends this message is likely to receive 181 automated replies thanking you for contacting them.

Letters mailed to the House & Senate members should be addressed as follows:
The Honorable (Full Name)
Texas Senate
PO Box 12068
Austin, TX 78711

Dear Senator ___________:
The Honorable (Full Name)
Texas House of Representatives
PO Box 2910
Austin, TX 78768-2910

Dear Representative __________:
If you have any questions about this reporting requirement, please let us know at christy@txsc.org or 512-732-9072.
Senate Education Committee to meet
The Senate Committee on Education posted a hearing for next week, on Wednesday, October 14, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The public hearing will be available to the public via broadcast, and the Committee will take invited testimony only via virtual means. They will be studying the topics of the teacher workforce and adult education. For information, please see the Notice of Public Hearing. Or to tune into the broadcast of the hearing on Wednesday, visit: https://senate.texas.gov/av-live.php.
Next Coalition meeting: November 11
Also, please mark your calendar for the next Texas School Coalition membership meeting on Wednesday, November 11 at 1:30 p.m. We will be providing post-election analysis as well as making some plans for 2021. You can click on the link below to register.
Thank you to our annual sponsors!
601 Camp Craft Road
Austin, Texas 78746