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19 Apr 2022
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TRTA Hosts 68th Convention, Elects New Officers, and Much More!

Last week, during the 68th TRTA Convention, members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) met at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas to conduct association business, gather with their fellow retirees, and receive information and resources to help districts and local chapters plan for the coming fiscal year.

The convention was held April 11-13 and was the first statewide association in-person event since 2019. TRTA officers and staff were pleased to see so many familiar faces and to meet many new volunteers ready to support our grassroots advocacy efforts ahead of the 88th Legislative Session that begins in January 2023.

Below are several highlights from convention that TRTA’s entire membership may want to know about!

Congratulations to Our Newly Elected State Officers!

The following individuals who were each elected for a two-year term as a TRTA state officer beginning July 1, 2022:

  • Marcy Cann, TRTA President
  • Ella Gauthier, TRTA First Vice-President
  • Frana Patterson, TRTA Second Vice-President
  • Terri Navrkal, TRTA Secretary/Treasurer

These individuals were elected by the House of Delegates. Current TRTA President Leroy DeHaven will assume the role of Immediate Past President on July 1. Thank you for your service to TRTA!

TRTA State Membership Awards Announced!

During the House of Delegates, current First Vice-President/Membership Chair Marcy Cann announced the State Membership Awards for the following districts and local units.

  • The 2021-2022 “Highest Membership Percentage Gain” was awarded to District 1.
  • The 2021-2022 “Highest Membership Gain” was awarded to District 1.
  • The 2021-2022 “Highest Membership Percentage Gain” was awarded to Red River Co RSEA.
  • The 2021-2022 “Highest Membership Gain” was awarded to Austin RTA.

Congratulations to these hard-working districts and local units!

Leroy DeHaven Announces 2022 President’s Diamond Award

TRTA President Leroy DeHaven presented the 2022 President’s Diamond Award, an honor given at the end of every TRTA President’s term, to Aransas County RTA.

Of the local chapter, Mr. DeHaven says, “Hurricane Harvey destroyed their town and meeting place. Many of the members’ homes were heavily damaged and some even had to leave to find a place to live temporarily. Their unit president passed away not long after.

Throughout all of this, Aransas County RTA rebounded and is increasing in membership!” The award was presented to Ruth Ann Sheppard, Local Unit President and Tom Weeaks, First Vice-President in recognition of their tireless efforts in the face of great adversity achieving consistent membership growth and representing the goals and mission of Texas Retired Teachers Association.

TRTA Hosts Legislative Luncheon Featuring State Officials

TRTA Executive Director Tim Lee hosted a panel during a luncheon on April 13 that featured several elected officials. TRTA expresses its thanks to State Senator Royce West, and Representatives Rafael Anchia, Giovanni Capriglione, and Tony Tinderholt for taking the time to discuss the issues that matter most to TRS retirees. Topics covered included how to win a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and improve funding for the TRS-Care health insurance program.

TRTF Announces 2022 Scholarship & Grant Winners & Hosts Successful Silent Auction

The Texas Retired Teachers Foundation (TRTF), TRTA’s charitable partner, announced the 2022 Classroom Assistance Grant and Beginning Teacher Scholarship recipients during the organization’s first-ever fundraising silent auction.

The 2022 grant recipients will be receiving a $750 check to support their classroom projects. The 2022 scholarship winners will be receiving a $750 check to cover the cost of certification tests, as well as materials for their first-year classroom. Use the links below to view the winners. Congratulations to all the winners! TRTF wishes them all the best of luck in their future teaching endeavors.

TRTF also wishes to express sincere gratitude to the many generous districts and local chapters that donated items for the silent auction, which was a rousing success. The event raised more than $13,000 for the foundation’s charitable programs, including “A Helping Hand,” the Disaster Relief Fund, and the TRTF Tutor Program. Read more about TRTF’s programs on their website.

Congratulations E.L. Galyean Award Recipients!

TRTA also honored the association’s E.L. Galyean Award recipients for 2020, 2021, and 2022 during a luncheon on April 12. This award recognizes a TRTA member for outstanding and unusual service on the state level to TRTA and its members. The award also serves as a constant reminder of the distinctive quality of committed service rendered by Mr. E. L. Galyean, TRTA’s first Executive Director (1980-1992).

  • BILL BARNES: 2020 AWARD RECIPIENT

Bill Barnes worked in education for 37 years, beginning in 1965. He became Assistant Principal in HEB ISD in 1969, and principal of Hurst Hills Elementary in 1976. He served as Principal of Spring Garden Elementary from 1983 until his retirement. He joined TRTA in 2002 with the Hurst–Euless–Bedford RSE, where he served as Legislative Committee Co–Chair. He helped found Northwest RSE in 2008 and served as Legislative Chair. Bill served as TRTA’s State Legislative Committee Chair/Coordinator from 2008 to 2019, also serving on the Board of Directors. Bill has testified at state committee hearings and TRS board and congressional meetings, using his influence to represent the voices of thousands of TRS retirees. He also served as District 11 Legislative Chair, Second Vice–President, First Vice–President, President, and Past President. Bill represented retirees’ healthcare concerns by serving on the TRS Retiree Advisory Committee for two terms beginning in 2004. Bill is a family man, married to wife Janice for 50 years, and takes great pride in his daughter and son–in–law, Kelli and Billy, and two grandsons, Trevor and Rhett.

  • AUBREY CHERRY: 2021 AWARD RECIPIENT

Aubrey Cherry has been a member of TRTA for more than 25 years and has served in numerous leadership positions. He was the local unit president for El Paso RTA and served as District 19 President. He served on the TRTA Board of Directors from 2000 to 2012. Cherry has been described as “the epitome of a professional educator” and “a wonderful ambassador for retired teachers.” Many members may know Cherry from his work at the TRTA conventions where he and his wife, Frances, have served on the Credentials Committee. The E.L. Galyean Award serves as a reminder of the distinctive quality of committed service. Cherry is a well-deserving recipient of the award, as he has provided leadership and inspiration through his decades of service.

  • MARTHA KALLUS: 2022 AWARD RECIPIENT

Martha Kallus worked steadfastly in positions of service in every aspect of her life, particularly within TRTA. She joined her local unit Midland RTA (now ARSP) as soon as she retired. She served as District 18 President and began eleven years of service at the TRTA state level. She was the Chair of the Local Unit Support Committee for four years, Organizational Affairs Committee for two years and the Retirement Education Committee for four. She turned an unorganized series of scattered retirement education events into an organized, uniform program by educating pre-retirees of their options, obligations, and opportunities for retirement. Martha was also a TRTF trustee for seven years and was Chair of the Classroom Assistance Grants committee. She had the heart and soul of a servant and is greatly missed by all.

Thank You!

Thank you to the 818 TRTA members who participated in this year’s convention. Your dedication to improving the lives of all TRS retirees and current educators is the key to our association’s success. TRTA will provide additional information about upcoming changes to bylaws and association functions in future updates.

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17 Mar 2022
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One-Time Payment for TRS-Care Participants Coming Tomorrow

The Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) announced today that that tomorrow, Friday, March 18, 2022, TRS-Care policyholders will receive a one-time payment of $448.12 in the form of a one-time check or direct deposit. TRS members who receive paper checks will receive theirs through the mail and should account for mailing time.

During the 87th Texas Legislative third special session in fall 2021, the Legislature appropriated $286 million to TRS active and retiree health programs through Senate Bill 8. This appropriation allowed TRS to obtain reimbursement for COVID-19 related claims from a one-time federal funding source.

Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) membership supported and advocated for this bill as a part of its push to help both TRS-Care and TRS-ActiveCare participants. SB 8 passage was a significant achievement in favor of retired educators and active school employees participating in these health care programs.

From the $286 million additional appropriation for these programs, TRS-Care, the retiree health care program, had an additional $83 million appropriated to it this year. With these funds, a one-time payment of $448.12 will be sent to approximately 185,000 plan participants or surviving spouses. The payment will arrive as a one-time check or direct deposit. This is in addition to retirees’ monthly TRS annuity.

A few frequently asked questions are answered below by TRS, with several others available online (please visit One-Time Payments for TRS-Care).

Who is eligible for the one-time TRS-Care payment?

  • To be eligible, the policyholder must be actively enrolled in TRS-Care as of January 1, 2022. They must still be enrolled in TRS-Care when funds are distributed in March 2022. If you’re the surviving spouse of a TRS retiree and enrolled in TRS-Care as of January 1, 2022, you may also be eligible to receive this one-time TRS-Care payment. Approximately 185,000 retirees and surviving spouses are eligible for this one-time TRS-Care payment.

Will I pay taxes on this one-time TRS-Care payment? 

  • Generally, if you pay TRS-Care premiums with after-tax dollars, then, in most cases, you will not have to pay tax again on the amount you receive as a one-time TRS-Care payment. However, whether IRS considers the one-time TRS-Care payment as taxable income is largely dependent on your specific tax situation. Depending on your unique tax situation, you could owe income tax on part or all of the one-time TRS-Care payment when you file your 2022 income tax next year. TRS will not withhold federal income tax from this $448.12 payment. If you’re not sure about the tax impact of this one-time TRS-Care payment, you should consult a tax professional to determine how this may affect you for the 2022 tax year.

Thank You!

Stay tuned to the Inside Line for more information about issues that impact Texas public education retirees.

TRTA is the only group that focuses solely on your TRS retirement security! Please join us today!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA and supporting issues that affect retired Texas public school personnel. Be sure to download the TRTA app to receive all of the latest updates and communicate with your fellow retirees.

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01 Mar 2022
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Primary Election Day is Here!

As members of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA) know, today, March 1, 2022, is Primary Election Day in Texas!

TRTA members, we encourage you to vote in this very important election. Far fewer voters make it to the polls during a Primary Election than during the November General Election.

Early voting wrapped up on Friday, February 25. Just over one million people voted early (or by mail) in the 2022 Republican Primary and 620,000 people voted early (or by mail) in the 2022 Democratic Primary.

That means there was roughly a 6% turnout on the Republican side and a 3.6% turnout on the Democratic side. 

Numbers really matter in the Primary Election and can make all the difference when choosing candidates who support issues that have an impact on Texas public education retirees and pre-retirees.

The road to influencing future policy outcomes starts NOW, well ahead of the 2023 Legislative Session!

So, get out today and VOTE! Be sure to grab some family members, friends, and neighbors to go with you.

Helpful Voting Resources!

Click on the links below to learn more!

Thank You!

TRTA is the only group that focuses solely on your TRS retirement security! Please join us today!

Thank you for being a member of TRTA and supporting issues that affect retired Texas public school personnel. Be sure to download the TRTA app to receive all of the latest updates and communicate with your fellow retirees.

Read More