01 Dec 2022

TRTA Calls on Congress to Fix WEP Now

On Monday, December 5 at 4:00 p.m. CST, the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) and the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) will host a live event on YouTube and Facebook discussing the WEP reform push! Be sure to tune in!

TRTA, along with ATPE and the Mass Retirees Association, is calling for action on the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP)! Time is running out. Congressman Richard Neal (D – Mass), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, needs to act before the current legislative term ends!

TRTA members, we need your help! We are asking you, your fellow retirees, and any active educators you know to call Congressman Neal’s office at (202) 225-5601 and ask for his commitment to get a deal done and pass a WEP solution before Congress adjourns for the year!

Call and Congressman Richard Neal!

Phone: (202) 225-5601

If you are a Facebook user and you feel comfortable using Messenger, you may contact Richard Neal’s office on his Facebook page.

Message: The time is now to commit to passing a WEP solution before Congress adjourns this year! As Chairman of Ways and Means, you are critical for getting a bipartisan deal done.

Call and email Texas congressional members on the House Ways and Means Committee!

Congressman Kevin Brady
Phone: (202) 225-4901

Message: As the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, continue to work with Neal to get a bipartisan deal passed this Congress, before time runs out.

Congressman Jody Arrington
Phone: (202) 225-4005

Message: As a Republican member of the House Ways and Means Committee, ask leadership to get a bipartisan deal done on WEP this Congress.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett
Phone: (202) 225-4865

Message: As a Democrat member of the House Ways and Means Committee, ask leadership to get a bipartisan deal done on WEP this Congress.

Equal Treatment for Public Workers Possible this Congress

The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee met on September 20, 2022 to discuss markup H.R. 82, the Social Security Fairness Act of 2021. A motion to move H.R. 82 out of committee without recommendation to the U.S. House of Representatives passed, essentially killing the bill.

Although the H.R. 82 committee mark-up reiterated that full repeal still lacks the congressional leadership support to move to the floor, it also showcased broad support for a fix, with many committee members calling for quick passage of a bipartisan alternative.

Those calls did not go unnoticed! For years, Neal and Brady have worked on a bipartisan solution called the Equal Treatment of Public Workers Act. Stakeholders and congressional members alike have been waiting for Brady and Neal to announce their bipartisan WEP deal. Now is the time for both leaders to agree so that public workers and retirees can be treated fairly.

Both Brady and Neal have pledged in press statements and at the September committee mark-up to continue negotiating a bipartisan WEP reform agreement that could be included in a year-end tax extender or omnibus spending package.

As the 2022 clock ticks down, the window to pass a bill closes. Brady, a tireless advocate for fixing the WEP since 2004, is retiring, and the House majority will flip to Republican control in January. Neal, also an advocate for a fair and equitable solution to the WEP, will no longer chair the Ways and Means Committee and stakeholders simply do not want to see this moment of cooperative work and focus on such an important issue squandered.

TRTA is calling on its members and friends to help demand action from the House Ways and Means Committee. Brady and Neal have said that a bipartisan solution is doable. However, since the September meeting, they haven’t brought forth a proposal. We need action for the retirees who are being unfairly punished by the arbitrary WEP formula!

Please join our efforts to maintain momentum on reforming the harmful WEP and make this issue a top priority for Congress now!

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23 Nov 2022

Happy Thanksgiving from TRTA and TRTF!

At this time of year, we like to reflect on the great things we have accomplished together and show our appreciation to our members, friends, and supporters, all of whom are special to us!

The Texas Retired Teachers Association (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 TRTA and for donating to help fund TRTF’s many charitable programs.

How the Foundation is Helping Others

If you or a retiree you know needs financial assistance this holiday season, please email the Foundation’s “A Helping Hand” program at TRTF has assisted many retirees with emergency needs such as home repairs, dental work, hearing aids, medical bills, space heaters, and 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 30 Classroom Assistance Grants. Download the application here.

If you have a family member or even a friend of the family who is about to graduate from college and plans to teach for the very first time in the fall of 2023, 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 scholarships to give. Download the application here.

Please Donate Today

The need to help retired school personnel in Texas is great! The Foundation office has received over 50 application requests for “A Helping Hand” assistance just this month.

Please consider making your tax-deductible charitable contribution to TRTF. You may donate online here or call 1.800.880.1650 and ask for Sarah.

As 2022 draws to a close, TRTA and TRTF remain dedicated to helping Texas educators. Educators are the foundation for everything good that happens in our great state, and they make things happen! We believe in our members, and because of you, we will succeed and find innovative ways to accomplish our goals. Together, TRTA and TRTF will work towards improving the lives of all educators in any and every way that we can. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

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16 Nov 2022

Beginning Texas Teacher Grateful for Help to Start Her First Classroom

Thank you, members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) for joining us during Foundation Month, a time to honor the charitable work done by our partner organization, the Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF).

Today, we focus on two of TRTF’s longstanding programs, Beginning Teacher Scholarships and Classroom Assistance Grants. With your support, TRTF continues to expand its programs to help more educators of the past, present, and future!

TRTF Helps New Teachers Get Off on the Right Foot

Beginning Teacher Scholarships provide funds to college seniors and first-year educators. The funds help reimburse an applicant for certifications and test results and to purchase materials for his or her classroom during the first year of teaching. TRTF will award twenty $750 scholarships for the 2023-2024 school year. Since 2008, TRTF has awarded more than $138,750 in scholarships.

Learn about 2022-2023 Beginning Teacher Scholarship recipient Rylie Roark in the video below! Rylie is related to TRTA member Sara Post Meyer of the DeWitt County RSP local chapter.

TRTF Helps Classroom Teachers Provide Innovative Projects for Their Students

Classroom Assistance Grants are awarded to public-school teachers, librarians, coaches, and more who demonstrate daily commitment to public education and Texas children through the creation of programs, events, or other learning platforms. TRTF will award thirty $750 grants for the 2023-2024 school year. Since 2008, TRTF has awarded more than $154,500 in classroom grants.

Applications Now Available for Download

Applications for the 2023-2024 Beginning Teacher Scholarship and Classroom Assistance Grant programs are available for download on the TRTF website. The deadline to apply for both programs is Friday, January 27, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.

Please Donate Today!

It is time to give big so that we may help our teachers and retirees! As a 501(c)(3), TRTF is in a unique position to raise donations and deploy them through our charitable programs.

Please consider making your tax-deductible charitable contribution to TRTF. You may donate online here or call 1.800.880.1650 and ask for Sarah.

TRTF also included its annual appeal letter and donation card in the third quarter issue of The VOICE, in TRTA members’ mailboxes now! You may use the donation card found on page 12 and the enclosed envelope to mail your donation to TRTF today.

Please stay tuned to the Inside Line throughout the month of November as we update you on TRTF’s programs and share stories from individual program recipients.

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