AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials from the office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that Texas state leadership will donate $435 Million In COVID-19 relief to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS).

“Texas teachers play one of the most vital roles to our kids and shouldn’t have to bear the burden of rising healthcare costs associated with COVID-19,” Speaker Dade Phelan said in the release. “Without this allocation, teachers in my district would have seen some of the largest increases to health care premiums in the state. Today’s announcement is welcome news for House District 21 and the rest of Texas.”

According to a news release from the Governor’s office, this funding combined with previous legislative donations will be applied to the TRS-ActiveCare healthcare plan. Providing these funds aims to allow teachers to offset insurance premium increases and see an average of 0% increase–or even decrease–in healthcare premiums.

“Our teachers are fundamental in building brighter futures for the next generation of Texans, and it is imperative that they have access to healthcare so they can continue developing our state’s most valuable asset: our kids,” said Governor Abbott. “Thank you to my partners in the legislature for helping allocate this excess funding that will be used to offset rising healthcare premiums associated with COVID-19 and continue giving our teachers access to quality, affordable healthcare.”