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05 Dec
0

66th Annual TRTA Convention and Day at the Capitol: Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 66th Annual TRTA Convention to be held in Austin, Texas April 1-2, 2019! This year’s theme is Connecting the Dots to TRTA’s Success, a meaningful metaphor that matches TRTA’s legislative goals as we head into another challenging session in the Texas capital city!

The convention will be held at the Austin Hilton on 500 E. 4th Street. The hotel is now taking reservations and the limit is two rooms per person. The group rates for a single or double ($211), triple ($231) and quad ($251) per night are good through February 27, 2019, but rooms are filling quickly! Please note the group rate is available with a limited number of rooms on March 31 for those traveling far distances. Most attendees are encouraged to make reservations for April 1–2.

Call 1.844.291.8931 or 512.482.8000 and be sure to mention “Texas Retired Teachers” or “TRTA Conference” for the group rate! If you experience any issues when using the toll-free number, please verify the address of the hotel (500 E. 4th Street). For online room reservations, please click here.

There is no better time to be in Austin! The Texas Legislature will be in regular session, discussing vital issues such as the TRS–Care health insurance program and ways to protect the longevity of benefits for our public education retirees and pre-retirees.

TRTA has released a tentative schedule of events to help you plan your travel. View the preliminary schedule here. Convention activities will begin later in the day on Monday, April 1, allowing members to travel in the morning and still arrive in time for registration. Unlike years past, there will be no banquet, and instead members may attend a welcome dinner on the first night.

Day two (April 2) begins with the Foundation Breakfast. Previously, TRTF held a luncheon. Though the format will be somewhat different, members will still be able to present gifts to the Foundation in honor or in memory of a loved one, friend or colleague. This year, TRTF is also hosting a fundraising raffle. TRTA’s 20 districts will donate unique, valuable items and convention attendees may purchase a ticket on day one (April 1) of the convention to be eligible to win.

Training sessions and the House of Delegates fill the second day. A legislative luncheon will be held at 12:15 p.m. At the conclusion of the House of Delegates, attendees may choose from a wide variety of restaurants within walking distance of the hotel in wonderfully diverse downtown Austin for dinner.

The convention will be truncated, allowing for a full day of legislative grassroots advocacy on Wednesday, April 3! “Day at the Capitol” is open to all convention attendees and any member who wants to come to Austin for this purpose only.

The Day at the Capitol allows public education retirees to visit with their legislators, be honored by both the Texas Senate and House and enjoy a rousing speech by TRTA officers and elected officials on the Capitol grounds. All attendees at this event are encouraged to wear red! Please note, an RSVP is required for the Day at the Capitol event even if you do not plan to attend the Convention. Your RSVP ensures that enough advocacy materials and refreshments are available for all attendees.

A paper registration form will be available in the fourth quarter issue of The VOICE for those who do not wish to register online. The VOICE will arrive in members’ mailboxes by the end of December. Registration for the Convention and Day at the Capitol closes March 1, 2019. We hope you will join us in Austin in for convention, Day at the Capitol, or both and help us connect the dots to TRTA’s success!

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30 Nov
0

TRTF Supporting Retired Educators During Natural Disasters

November has been designated by the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) Board of Directors as a time to raise funds for and honor the charitable endeavors of our partner organization, the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF).

TRTF just launched its annual appeal to raise funds for its four primary charitable programs and its endowment fund: “A Helping Hand,” Classroom Assistance Grants, Beginning Teacher Scholarships, the Disaster Relief Fund and the Lehr-Pritchard Endowment Fund.

TRTF hopes to raise $100,000 in donations to support its programs to help educators of the past, present, and future! DONATE ONLINE TODAY!

In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey swept through the Gulf Coast of Texas and destroyed the homes and lives of many residents in the Houston area.

Arlise Wilson is a retired math teacher from Missouri City, Texas. When she heard about Harvey’s arrival, she evacuated her home. After the storm passed, she returned to see that her house had been flooded from two sides. A creek behind her house had overflowed and breached her floors. Additionally, her house lies at the end of a hill. Despite a small moat, the overwhelming rainfall had also flooded the front of her house.

Wilson, a self-described problem solver, went to work protecting her belongings and renovating the flooring of her house. One major issue was the mold from the rainfall, which meant she had to have the floor stripped out and replaced.

“When I returned to the house, I knew that there would be an awful lot of upset, disarray and mess to deal with,” Wilson said.

Wilson received two grants from TRTF, totaling $750. She used these grants to protect her belongings and hire help to clean her house. She purchased approximately 30 large plastic tubs to protect her possessions as her house was turned upside down.

“That start was a really big help,” Wilson said about the grant. “That was one of the nicest mental breaks that I could have asked for. It’s that sense of, ‘My things are protected.’”

Wilson still has some of her possessions in those tubs, and she feels that many people’s lives will never be the same since the storm.

“Even if you have the resources or the help of a grant, it doesn’t take away the event and the resulting experience. It’s bad. B-A-D. And you don’t want to wish it on anybody,” Wilson said.

No one can be sure when the next major disaster will strike. Help support retired Texas educators during their time of need by donating to TRTF’s disaster relief fund.

How the Foundation Can Help Educators of the Past, Present, and Future

If you or a retiree you know is in need of financial assistance this holiday season, please email TRTF at help@trtf.org. TRTF has assisted many retirees with home repairs, dental work, hearing aids, medical bills, space heaters and much more!

If you know of a classroom teacher who is hoping to fund a great project for his or her students and is wondering where to find the money to accomplish this goal, have them apply for one of our thirty available Classroom Assistance Grants. Download the application here. (Deadline: February 28, 2019)

If you have a family member who is about to graduate from college and plans to teach for the very first time in the fall of 2019, let them know about our Beginning Teacher Scholarship program. We may be able to assist them in paying for certification tests or supplies for their first classroom. TRTF has twenty-one scholarships to give. Download the application here. (Deadline: February 28, 2019)

Donate Today

Since November 1, TRTA members have donated more than $60,000 to TRTF’s charitable programs!

Will you please consider donating today and helping us reach our goal of $100,000?

There are more than 90,000 members of TRTA. If we all give a little, we could do a lot! If you believe in the legacy of public education in Texas and want to show your support through a tax-deductible donation to any of our Foundation’s amazing programs, you may donate online today! You may also donate over the phone with a credit card at 1.800.880.1650. Please ask for Sarah.

The third quarter issue of The VOICE also featured a special article about the Foundation, along with TRTF’s annual appeal letter and donation card. You can mail in your donation using the pre-paid envelope included with your issue.

Foundation Month is your opportunity to make a difference for a fellow retiree who could use help, create an opportunity for classroom teachers and students, or help open the door for a new teacher brimming with youthful enthusiasm to teach young minds. Thank you for your support!

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20 Nov
0

Happy Thanksgiving from TRTA and TRTF!

Dear TRTA Members and Supporters,

This is the time of year to reflect and be appreciative of those who have been a special part of our lives!

The TRTA Board of Directors and the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF) Board of Trustees are so very thankful for the time you spend volunteering for the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) and the donations you have made to help fund TRTF’s many charitable programs.

Your work and endeavors have made this a successful organization that gives a voice to retired educators as well as active educators still working in the school systems and helps us provide assistance to retired educators in need, current classroom teachers, and tomorrow’s educators! Your unwavering support has also meant that more than 500 educators—retired and active—could begin the recovery process after Hurricane Harvey through grants provided by TRTF’s Disaster Relief Fund. Since 2008, your donations have enabled TRTF to provide more than $480,000 in aid to educators across the state.

Educators are the foundation for everything good that happens in our state. We know that educators make things happen. Your patience, love, knowledge, dedication and generous spirit make Texas great!

However, we also know that for all the good we do, the appreciation and salary is not commensurate. We know that the future holds many questions about the pension fund and health insurance for our retirees, as well as concerns about making ends meet.

Fortunately, that does not hinder what we have and want to give to others. Your Texas Retired Teachers Foundation does what its name implies. We are the base, the underlying structure that supports our members and future members too!

How the Foundation Can Help

If you or a retiree you know is in need of financial assistance this holiday season, please email the Foundation’s “A Helping Hand” program at help@trtf.org. TRTF has assisted many retirees with home repairs, dental work, hearing aids, medical bills, space heaters and much more!

If you know of a classroom teacher who is hoping to fund a great project for his or her students and is wondering where to find the money to accomplish this goal, have them apply for one of our thirty available Classroom Assistance Grants. Download the application here.

If you have a grandchild or other family member who is about to graduate from college and plans to teach for the very first time in the fall of 2019, let them know about our Beginning Teacher Scholarship program. We may be able to assist them in paying for certification tests or supplies for their first classroom. TRTF has twenty-one scholarships to give in 2018. Download the application here.

Donate Today

If you believe in the legacy of public education in Texas and want to show your support through a tax-deductible donation to any of our Foundation’s amazing programs, you may donate online today! You may also call and donate over the phone with a credit card at 1.800.880.1650. Please ask for Sarah.

The third quarter issue of The VOICE also featured a special article about the Foundation, along with TRTF’s annual appeal letter and donation card. You can mail in your donation using the pre-paid envelope included with your issue.

There are more than 88,000 members of TRTA. If we all give a little, we could do a lot! Foundation Month is your opportunity to make a difference for a colleague that could use help, create an opportunity for classroom teachers and students, or help open the door for a new teacher brimming with youthful enthusiasm to teach young minds.

Thank you for the opportunity you have given all of us to serve as your TRTA representatives. We are all deeply grateful to our members for everything that they do to support this great organization.

 

Happy Thanksgiving,

Tim Lee

TRTA Executive Director

 

Jamie Larson

TRTF Board President

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