Blog

21 Jan
0

TRTF Scholarship and Grant Deadline Approaching

The Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF), the charitable partner organization of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), is pleased to announce that applications are available for its Beginning Teacher Scholarship and Classroom Assistance Grant programs.

The Beginning Teacher Scholarship program reimburses an applicant for certification tests and test results and provides money to help the applicant purchase classroom materials for his or her first year of teaching. An applicant must be related to a current TRTA member, and plan to begin teaching in Texas in the fall of 2020 to be eligible. TRTF will award twenty $750 Beginning Teacher Scholarships in 2020.

The Classroom Assistance Grant program awards funds to public school teachers who demonstrate commitment to public education and Texas children through the creation of programs, events or other learning platforms. An applicant must be a public-school teacher for the 2020-2021 school year who pays into the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) and must have handwritten consent from the school principal expressing approval of their project. TRTF will award thirty $500 Classroom Assistance Grants in 2020.

All recipients will be announced during the Foundation Luncheon at the TRTA Convention in Corpus Christi on April 8, 2020.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATIONS BELOW

Due to some recent technical difficulties with the Foundation website, applications cannot be downloaded from TRTF’s site currently. Please download the applications below or send an e-mail to sarah@trta.org for more information.

DOWNLOAD BEGINNING TEACHER SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION

DOWNLOAD CLASSROOM ASSISTANCE GRANT APPLICATION

Applications must be received in full by February 27, 2020, including college transcripts for the Beginning Teacher Scholarship program.

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20 Dec
0

Happy Holidays from TRTA and TRTF!

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) extends its season’s greetings to all members and friends. As the year draws to a close, we know our dedicated retirees will enjoy spending time with loved ones and celebrating the holidays.

We at TRTA, the Board of Directors and staff, want to express our sincere appreciation to all of you for the support you have given to this great organization in 2019.

Because of you, TRTA is able to participate in vital legislative discussions that impact your retirement benefits, from the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) pension fund to health care, and our charitable partner, the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF), has raised more than 93,000 since November for its vital programs to help educators of the past, present and future. You can help TRTF reach $100,000 by donating online today!

In 2019, our members fought to make the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) pension fund actuarially sound and to gain a thirteenth check for hundreds of thousands of public education retirees. Because of your concerted efforts, Senate Bill 12 was passed, putting TRS on a path to eliminate its unfunded liabilities and making the possibility of permanent cost-of-living increases possible again in the future.

Your persistent willingness to call, email and visit your elected officials in person also gives a face to the issues of retiree health care and pension funding!

In 2020, we face new challenges, including the reform of the arbitrary Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) through Congress. Soon members will receive a detailed update about TRTA’s efforts to repeal the WEP in the fourth quarter issue of TRTA’s news magazine, The VOICE, scheduled to hit mailboxes next week. In this issue, we are asking our members to reach out to their congressmen and ask them to support two bills that would help TRTA accomplish the goal of putting more earned Social Security dollars into retirees’ pocketbooks: H.R. 4540 and H.R. 3934. You can also read about these bills by clicking hereYou can find your congressional representative by using this website.

TRTA has also joined our friends in Massachusetts, who are also affected by the WEP, in creating the Public Retirees Alliance. Be sure to visit their website and sign up for their email updates to stay tuned to all the latest WEP news!

We hope you enjoy this beautiful holiday season and are ready to get engaged in WEP reform in 2020!

Thank You

Thank you for your membership to TRTA. If you are not yet a member, we need you to help us protect your retirement security. Please join TRTA today!

If you know someone who should be a member of TRTA who has not yet joined, please consider buying them a TRTA membership—just $35—as a gift for this holiday season!

Be sure to like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Year-end, tax-deductible donations to TRTF can be made online here.

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17 Dec
0

The Seven Summits: Finding A Cure to Parkinson’s

Dear friends,

Last week, I completed my Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) local unit travel for the year. What a joy and blessing you all have been to TRTA and me this year!

What a year it has been. We have much to be grateful for and still more to accomplish in the months ahead. I am anxious to see what great things we will achieve in 2020.

Today, I want to share a story with you about my friend Peter Lowry. Peter has many wonderful attributes. He is an accomplished physician, family man and adventurer. He is also the son of Dr. Bruce and Susan Lowry. I have known Susan for many years. She is well-known and thought highly of in our retired education employee community around the nation. I have gotten to know Bruce even better through stories I have heard about his love for athletics, hockey and climbing. He is a pretty tough guy!

It was Bruce who instilled in his son Peter the love of climbing mountains and seeking new ways to push the body to greater heights. It makes me tired just to write that last sentence!

A little over eighteen months ago, Dr. Bruce Lowry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. As Peter describes it, “because I am a physician and he is a physician, I know that he knows more than most people do about what could be ahead for him.” Dr. Peter Lowry, being a loving son and driven person, decided to help advance research into curing Parkinson’s disease.

Facing the giant mountain in front of him, Peter knew he needed to get as many family members, friends and supporters as possible to become more aware of how many people are hurt by this disease. All his life, Peter has been taught that when there is a mountain in front of you, the best objective is to climb it. Conquering the mountain means pushing onward and upward until you get to the summit!

Peter knew that if he attempted to do something that less than 450 people have ever done in all of human history, he stood a good chance of getting people involved in donating and raising awareness about curing Parkinson’s disease.

Peter has been participating in the “Seven Summits”—the climbing of the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. As I said, less than 450 people in human history have ever been known to accomplish this objective. When I heard about what he was doing and why, he had my attention!

Peter self-funds his climbs and is raising awareness of the efforts being made to cure Parkinson’s. With more than 10 million people impacted by this disease worldwide and more than 60,000 new cases in America every year, Peter is not only helping his dad, but everyone who has been touched by this disease and who may ever be impacted.

I shared this story with many of my TRTA friends. Several told me stories about people in their lives who have suffered from Parkinson’s. Many asked if they could donate to the charity for which Peter is raising funds.

Typically, we all have some very special charitable purpose we support. Sometimes that support is financial, or may be given in time, energy, or through words of encouragement. Personally, I plan my giving around two major groups—my church and the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF).

However, I have been impacted by this story and have seen many of my retired educator friends and family members suffer from Parkinson’s. I gladly gave to this effort and I know that the small role I played was part of a much larger endeavor to help solve this problem.

I know that not everyone is able to give and if you are not able to give a financial donation, that is okay. No one should ever feel pressured to give! If, however, you are comfortable donating, please click here to visit Dr. Peter Lowry’s donation page and join in his effort to help end Parkinson’s disease.

Whether you are able to give or not, please share a story of encouragement, by either replying to this email (I will share your comments and positive thoughts with Dr. Lowry) or by visiting the donation page and leaving your story or words of encouragement there.

TRTA is so appreciative for our members and supporters. It is our sincerest hope that you enjoy the happiest of holidays this season and that we will all find continued success in the coming new year!

Your friend and advocate,
Tim Lee
TRTA Executive Director

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