Public Policy



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.


Public Policy Priorities

  • Promote justice and dignity for all
  • Promote timely access to behavioral, mental health, and education services for all
  • Represent all professional counselors in all work settings
  • Promote student retention, persistence and success in all educational settings
  • Support individual and family growth, recovery and development across the lifespan

Legislative Agenda

TCA's Legislative Agenda 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 also contracts with an external lobbyist, Shannon Noble, to promote our legislative agenda. 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 at the Texas Capitol each session.

See our full Legislative Agenda for 2019


Regulatory Engagement

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.

Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (TSBEPC) - Katherine Bacon

Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (TSBEMFT) - Jodie Elder

State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) - Tiffany Simon


Accomplishments

  • 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)

 

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Public Policy News

Texas 86th Legislative Session Wrap-Ups

calendar-iconAug 19 2019
Mental health and school counselors were on the forefront of the 86th Legislative Session. Advocacy by TCA and hundreds of TCA members resulted in pas...

Federal Advocacy!

calendar-iconAug 19 2019
Congress is on vacation until Sept 9. Try and meet with your federal reps while they are back in Texas! Ask them to add LPCs to Medicare. ACA will als...

TCA Advocates in Washington D.C.

calendar-iconJul 26 2019
Last week TCA leaders and advocates were in Washington D.C. advocating for professional counselors in Texas and across the nation. Learn more about wh...

Legislative Update (5/24/2019)

calendar-iconMay 24 2019
The legislative session is wrapping up. We've got one more important action alert for you. Get bill updates from last week. Thank you to everyone who ...