TCA & Public Policy
The Texas Counseling Association is the voice for Texas professional counselors with the Texas Legislature, regulatory boards, and Congressional delegation. Every aspect of professional counseling is impacted by public policy decisions. TCA's goal is to influence the laws, rules and policies to positively impact and increase access to professional counselors across Texas.
TCA's Public Policy is adopted by the TCA Board prior to each legislative session. The Texas Legislature meets biennially in odd-numbered years. Advocacy efforts begin in the interim (even-numbered years). In addition to TCA staff, TCA contracts with an external lobbyist to promote our public policy priorities.
TCA encourages and supports TCA members to advocate for professional counselors, clients, and students through weekly updates, timely action alerts, and by hosting 3 Advocacy Days each session. Interested in joining us for TCA Advocacy Days, sign up now!
By the end of the regular session, TCA was tracking 456 bills, and approximately 50 made it to the final list of bills that passed, good or bad, and notable bills that failed. Read the highlights and lowlights of that final list in this year's Legislative Wrap Up.
TCA members should use the one-pagers to deliver key message points to legislators:
TCA maintains strong and dynamic engagement with the boards and agencies that regulate professional counselors by attending their meetings and providing opportunities to exhibit and present programs at TCA Conferences. Proposed rules are carefully vetted by TCA. TCA's volunteer liaisons to the following agencies ensure that TCA is always at the table, engaged in conversation, and sharing with members action updates on the rules and regulations that will impact your work.
Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) - Teri Ann Sartor
State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) - Megan Guidry
Reauthorized the behavioral health licensing boards and created the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC) to house them in a stand-alone agency (HB 1501, 86th Legislature)
Included School Counselors in the mandatory educator compensation increases enacted by the 86th Legislature (HB 3)
Engaged more than 275 professional counselors in face-to-face advocacy at the Texas Capitol (86th Legislature)
Amended the Texas Education Code to require school counseling programs be based on the Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs (HB 18, 86th Legislature)
Expanded continuing education requirements for teachers, counselors and principals to include programs on the Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs (HB 18, 86th Legislature)
Updated and enhanced School Counselor Certification Standards in Texas (2017)
Published in partnership with the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs, 5th Edition (2018)
Modified the Texas Education Code to correctly and consistently refer to school counselors (83rd Legislature)
Use our hashtag #TxCAadvocacyTweets by TxCAtweets
Stay up to date on the latest legislative news and action alerts. Plus quick links to all our advocacy resources.
See all past Legislative News here.