03.24.2017 — The House Publication Committee has another long day ahead on Tuesday, March 28, when it is scheduled to begin to meet at 8 a.m. in E2.036 of the Capitol Extension to hear testimony on 20-plus bills.
03.24.2017 — With a vote of 7 to 3 on Thursday, the Senate Education Committee voted out SB 3, which would create education savings account and tax credit scholarship programs.
03.22.2017 — The House Public Education Subcommittee on Educator Quality will meet again on Monday, March 27, to discuss SB 7 and other bills on improper relationships, plus others.
03.22.2017 — The Senate Committee on Education met Tuesday to discuss SB 3, which would create both education savings account and tax credit scholarship programs.
03.22.2017 — Before hearing testimony on more than 20 bills related to assessment and accountability on Tuesday, the House Public Education Committee discussed HB 21, Huberty’s school finance bill.
03.17.2017 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at noon, or upon final adjournment of the House, Tuesday, March 21, to hear HB 22 and 20-plus other assessment and accountability bills.
03.16.2017 — The Senate Committee on Education met this morning to consider several bills and vote on SB 22, which creates a P-TECH program.
03.16.2017 — The House Subcommittee on Educator Quality will meet at 2 p.m., or upon final adjournment/recess of the House, on Monday, March 20, on six bills, including two on improper relationships between educators and students.
03.14.2017 — The House Public Education Committee met today to hear testimony on a variety of bills and to hear additional testimony on HB 21, the school finance bill.
03.14.2017 — Today the Texas Senate confirmed the appointments of Donna Bahorich as chair of the SBOE and of Mike Morath as Texas commissioner of education.
03.14.2017 — The Senate Committee on Education will meet at 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 21, in E1.028 in the Capitol Extension to discuss SB 3 (Larry Taylor), which would establish an education savings grant program and a tax credit scholarship and educational expense program.
03.14.2017 — The Senate Committee on Education has scheduled a meeting for 8 a.m., Thursday, March 16, in E1.028 in the Capitol Extension to discuss several bills.
03.09.2017 — The House Public Education Committee will meet Tuesday, March 14, at noon or upon adjournment of the House, to hear additional testimony on HB 21, Huberty's school finance bill, and a number of other bills.
03.09.2017 — On Thursday afternoon, Texas House Public Education Committee Chair Dan Huberty filed HB 22 relating to the public school accountability system.
03.07.2017 — The House Public Education Committee met today on HB 21 and other bills related to school finance.
03.06.2017 — House Public Education Committee Chairman Dan Huberty held a press conference today to announce his filing of school finance bill HB 21.
03.02.2017 — The House Public Education Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday, March 7, at 12 p.m. or upon final adjournment in room E2.036 of the Capitol extension to hear several bills related to school finance.
03.01.2017 — The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III will hold a Formal Meeting at 7:30 a.m., Thursday, March 2, in E1.030, on House budget recommendations.
03.01.2017 — SB 6, dubbed the “bathroom bill,” is scheduled for a public hearing at 8 a.m., Tuesday, March 7, in E1.012.
03.01.2017 — The Senate Committee on Education called an impromptu meeting on February 28 to continue discussion on a substitute version of SB 7, which seeks to end improper relationships between educators or school personnel and students.
03.01.2017 — The Texas House Public Education Committee met Tuesday, February 28, to hear testimony from 24 witnesses on concepts and issues related to school finance.
02.24.2017 — The Senate Education Committee met Thursday, February 23, to hear testimony on bills relating to inappropriate student-teacher relationships and the P-TECH program.
02.24.2017 — On Tuesday during the first meeting of the Texas House Public Education Committee, new chairman Rep. Dan Huberty stated that he expects to address school finance during the committee’s next two hearings.
02.21.2017 — The Senate Committee on Education will meet at 9 a.m., Thursday, February 23, to discuss three bills related to improper relationships as well as P-TECH.
The House Public Education Committee will hold its first (organizational) meeting Tuesday, February 21, at 2 p.m.
02.09.2017 —The members of the Texas House Public Education Committee have been named. See a list.
02.07.2017 — Deer Park ISD, Northwest ISD, and the San Jacinto College District recently received “Caudill Class” recognition — the highest honor — in the annual Exhibit of School Architecture competition.
01.25.2017 — The Senate Education Committee will hold its first hearing Friday, January 27, at 9 a.m. and meet with the new Senate Finance Workgroup on School Finance.
01.23.2017 — Sen. Jane Nelson has appointed two workgroups to study pressing budget challenges this session. One of the workgroups is the School Finance Workgroup.
01.18.2017 — The Senate committees have been announced. Members of the Senate Education Committee include the following.
01.17.2017 — Both the Senate and House have filed base budget bills. The Senate bill appropriates $103.6 billion, while the House bill appropriates $108.9 billion.
01.17.2017 — On Friday, January 13, TEA held a hearing on proposed amendments to rules affecting STAAR standards. The agency proposes locking in the former phase-in level II rate at its current level of rigor, and renaming student performance labels.
11.15.2016 — The prefiling of bills for the upcoming 85th legislative session that begins January 10 began Monday. Following is a sampling of education-related bills filed thus far for the 2017 session.
11.01.2016 — An AASA letter to the U.S. Department of Education signed by representatives of 49 statewide administrators’ groups expresses concern with the Department’s proposed regulations related to the “Supplement, not Supplant” provisions of Title I in ESSA.
10.21.2016 — Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced on October 20 that TEA has launched an online survey offering parents, taxpayers, and the general public an avenue to provide input on the state’s implementation of ESSA.
10.25.2016 — AASA is asking superintendents to weigh in on the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed rules on supplement vs. supplant as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
10.19.2016 — The General Election is November 8, and early voting runs October 24–November 4. This election will not just determine the next U.S. president; it will determine who comes to Austin in January to make critical decisions about the future of public education in Texas.
10.06.2016 — The House Public Education Committee will meet October 17 on school choice.
09.29.2016 — TEA issued a letter to administrators September 28 that provides districts with additional guidance on the new law that requires districts to install cameras in special education classrooms.
09.19.2016 — Beginning with 2016-17, districts and charter schools are required to submit calendars for all campuses to TEA to demonstrate compliance with HB 2610. Download example spreadsheets for maintaining local documentation.
09.15.2016 — Interpreting SB 507 as written, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ruled on September 13 that school districts must “provide equipment, including a video camera, to each school."
09.16.2016 — The House Public Education Committee will meet jointly with the House Committee on Appropriations at 9 a.m. September 28-29.
08.31.2016 — Due September 1, the final report of the Texas Commission on Next-Generation Assessments and Accountability has been released.
08.31.2016 — TASA has finalized and posted a list of priorities for the 2017 legislative session.
08.29.2016 — The Texas Education Agency has submitted its Legislative Appropriations Request for the 2018-19 biennium to the Office of the Governor and Legislative Budget Board.
08.18.2016 — A review of the current public education programs administered by TEA but funded outside the Foundation School Program is the sole item on the agenda for a Texas House Appropriations Committee meeting August 24.
08.04.2016 — Pursuant to Senate Bill 507, passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, TEA has released final rules concerning video surveillance in certain special education settings. The final rules are effective August 15.
07.29.2016 — The Texas Commission on Next-Generation Assessments and Accountability held its seventh and final meeting July 27 and voted on its final recommendations to the Legislature.
07.19.2016 — TASA encourages its membership to ask district staff with curriculum expertise in English language arts and reading (ELAR) or Spanish language arts and reading (SLAR) to again engage in a forum.
07.20.2016 — More than 27,000 Texans completed the survey that the SBOE conducted in June seeking public input about the state’s student assessment and accountability systems.
07.25.2016 — AASA has sent an alert on the proposed U.S. Department of Education rules related to ESSA. Comments are due August 1.
06.27.2016 — In addition to the meeting scheduled for August 3, three additional meetings have been scheduled for the Senate Committee on Education.
06.24.2016 — TEA has adopted Commissioner’s Rules concerning the new teacher appraisal system, the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS).
06.20.2016 — The Senate Education Committee will meet August 3 at 9 a.m. in room E1.028 to hear invited and public testimony on several interim charges.
06.14.2016 — The Texas Commission on Next-Generation Assessments and Accountability held its sixth meeting June 13, a work session in which members hammered out their recommendations for the Legislature.
06.14.2016 — The SBOE has released a survey to seek public input about the state’s student assessment and accountability programs.
06.13.2016 — TEA sent testing coordinators a letter informing districts that spring 2016 STAAR results for grades 3-8 will be reported to districts on July 5 rather than June 15.
06.10.2016 — TEA is accepting applications until July 11 from districts that wish to participate in a writing assessment pilot program created by HB 1164.
06.10.2016 — There will be no student consequences attached to STAAR testing for grades 5 and 8 for 2015-16.
06.02.2016 — Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus has announced that he has given two new interim charges to the House Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Public Education.
05.23.2016 — A group of parents is suing TEA to bar the state from counting the results of this year’s third- through eighth-grade assessments in the public school accountability system.
05.18.2016 — On May 17, the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith sat down with Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath at the Austin Club for a conversation that touched on school finance, transgender bathroom policies, STAAR, A-F ratings, and more.
05.16.2016 — The Texas primary runoff elections will take place on Tuesday, May 24. Early voting runs May 16 to 20. See a list of runoff races/candidates.
05.13.2016 — The Texas Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling in the most recent lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s school finance system.
05.11.2016 — TASA sent a letter to Commissioner Mike Morath outlining specific problems and issues districts encountered during recent administrations of the STAAR.
05.03.2016 — TEA will hold a public hearing on proposed Commissioner’s Rules concerning video surveillance of certain special education settings on May 19.
05.06.2016 — The Texas House Public Education Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 11, on interim charges related to inappropriate teacher-student relationships, accessibility to broadband services for schools, and oversight of agencies and programs under its jurisdiction.
04.22.2016 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 3, jointly with the House Committee on Economic & Small Business Development.
04.20.2016 — A new TEA letter to administrators provides additional information related to Student Success Initiative (SSI) requirements for 545 students in grades 5 and 8 that TEA reports were affected by the online testing issues of last month.
04.19.2016 — TEA posted a list that identifies school districts and charter schools that applied for the high-quality prekindergarten grant and the corresponding funding estimates that districts and charter schools might expect to receive if all applicants are determined to be eligible.
04.18.2016 — The April 19 Senate Education Committee meeting has been canceled.
04.15.2016 — TEA has announced it will hold a public hearing on the proposed rules related to Innovation Districts on April 25.
04.14.2016 — Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced the hiring of several new deputy commissioners.
04.06.2016 — Wednesday’s SBOE meeting began with Commissioner Mike Morath addressing the board and ended with hours of public testimony on the ELAR/SLAR TEKS.
04.07.2016 — TEA has posted proposed rules for the implementation of SB 507, which requires video cameras to be placed in certain special education settings.
04.05.2016 — At Tuesday’s SBOE meeting, the board discussed two reports called for by HB 743, passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, that were made available just a day before the meeting.
04.04.2016 — TEA has posted a report by the Human Resources Research Organization, with which the agency contracted for an independent evaluation of the validity and reliability of the STAAR in grades 3-8 to comply with House Bill 743.
04.04.2016 — On Friday afternoon, TEA sent guidance on online testing issues as related to graduation requirements to district and ESC testing coordinators.
04.01.2016 — The House Pensions Committee will meet at 9 a.m., April 13, to hear invited and public testimony on interim charges related to public pension funds.
03.30.2016 — TASA Executive Director Johnny Veselka submitted a letter to Commissioner Mike Morath today in response to the issues associated with this week’s STAAR administration. This afternoon, TASA posted an update on the issues with STAAR.
03.22.2016 — The Senate Education Committee will meet Tuesday, April 19, at 10 a.m. in Room E1.028 (Capitol Extension).
03.18.2016 — Commissioner Morath sent a request to the Attorney General asking for clarification on certain matters in recently passed legislation requiring cameras in some special education classrooms.
03.18.2016 — The question presented to the AG was whether a school district, municipality or county may reduce or repeal the local homestead exemption from the amount that was adopted for the 2014 tax year through the 2019 school year.
03.10.2016 — The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has withdrawn proposed rule changes that would have a negative impact on economically disadvantaged students and limit the number of dual credit courses that students could take.
03.09.2016 — A March 8 TEA letter to administrators also addresses how the new federal law immediately affects (or does not affect) Texas schools.
03.07.2016 — TASA has submitted comments in response to the proposed rules recently posted by TEA for the new High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program.
03.07.2016 — The Senate Education Committee will meet jointly with the Senate Higher Education Committee at 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 29, to discuss HB 5 implementation and teacher shortage and retention issues.
03.03.2016 — Today TASA submitted comments to proposed rules by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board that would severely limit student participation in dual credit courses.
02.23.2016 — The Commission on Next-Generation Assessments and Accountability, created in 2015 by HB 2804 to “develop and make recommendations for new systems of student assessment and public school accountability,” met for the second time and heard recommendations from the Consortium.
02.09.2016 — The proposed rules for the High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant Program established by HB 4 in 2015 have been posted in the Texas Register for public comment. The comment period began February 5 and ends March 7.
02.09.2016 — The Texas Primary Election is March 1, and early voting runs February 16–26. See this list of resources you can share with all school employees to ensure educators turn out in unprecedented numbers for this important election.
02.05.2016 — The Texas House Higher Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Thursday, February 11 to consider issues related to community college, dual credit, and early college start programs.
02.02.2016 — The Joint Interim Committee to Study TRS health benefit plans has posted notice for hearings on March 30 and April 13.
01.29.2016 — Today the SBOE allowed an SBEC proposal to pass that permits an individual seeking a superintendent certificate the option to substitute public school district managerial experience for the requirement of a principal certificate.
01.28.2016 — The Senate Committee on Education will meet Wednesday, February 10, at 9 a.m. in McAllen, Texas.
01.27.2016 — The Texas House Public Education Committee will hold a public hearing at 10 a.m., Tuesday, February 9, to consider interim charges related to the middle grades and high-performing students.
01.22.2016 — February 1 is the last day to register to vote for the March 1, 2016, Primary Election. Download a flier containing other important dates to share with educators, parents, and others.
01.19.2016 — The Commission on Next-Generation Assessments and Accountability will hold its first meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 20, at the Texas Capitol.
01.13.2016 — Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Andrew Kim, superintendent, Comal ISD, has been named presiding officer of the new Texas Commission on Next-Generation Assessments and Accountability.
12.14.2015 — Gov. Greg Abbott today appointed Mike Morath to be the Texas commissioner of education. As such, he will oversee the Texas Education Agency and the state’s 1,200 school districts and charter schools.
12.07.2015 — TASA sent letters to U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn on December 7 that urged them to vote in favor of the Every Student Succeeds Act.
12.07.2015 — Today the Texas Senate Education Committee met to hear invited and public testimony related to charter schools and inappropriate teacher-student relationships.
11.23.2015 — The U.S. Department of Education response says that Texas' high-risk status will not be reconsidered and is warranted because Texas has not yet met the conditions placed on its original ESEA flexibility approval and approved extension.
11.20.2015 — Today the SBOE took a final vote on a State Board for Educator Certification rule action to amend the requirements for obtaining a superintendent certificate in Texas, rejecting the proposal with a vote of 10 to 5.
11.20.2015 — The Senate Committee on Education will meet Monday, December 7, at 10 a.m. to take up interim charges on charter schools and improper teacher-student relationships.
11.19.2015 — HB 2610 changed the unit of measure for required instruction from 180 days to 75,600 minutes and defines a day of instruction as 420 minutes. Districts are required to maintain local documentation that is sufficient to prove that they met the minimum. A sample spreadsheet is provided.
11.16.2015 — TEA has added information to its FAQ document on HB 2610, the bill that replaced the requirement that districts and charters provide 180 instructional days with a requirement that they provide at least 75,600 minutes of instruction, including recess and intermissions.
11.16.2015 — At its regular meeting this week, the State Board of Education will review a State Board for Educator Certification rule action that would amend the requirements for obtaining a superintendent certificate in Texas.
11.13.2015 — Today Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced the appointment of a committee to study TRS health plans.
11.10.2015 — Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Speaker Joe Straus named their respective appointees to the newly created Texas Commission on Next-Generation Assessments and Accountability.
11.06.2015 — Interim charges for both the House and Senate have now been released. TASA staff compiled a list of interim charges from all committees that may impact school districts, educators, and school employees, or trustees.
11.04.2015 — Joe Straus, speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, released a list of interim charges to the House Public Education Committee today.
10.16.2015 — TEA has notified school districts and charters that the agency will reduce the length of the STAAR in grades 3-8 for the 2016 spring administrations.
10.19.2015 — Seven constitutional amendments are on the ballot for the November 3 election.
10.15.2015 — Michael Williams will step down as Texas commissioner of education effective January 1, 2016.
10.14.2015 — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued another round of interim charges Wednesday. Several charges related to budget matters were issued to the Senate Finance Committee.
10.12.2015 — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued interim charges for the Senate Education Committee. Issues include school choice, teacher preparation and retention, broadband access, charter schools, and school board governance.
10.08.2015 — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has released the first interim charges for several Senate Committees that impact public education.
10.07.2015 — Commissioner of Education Michael Williams released a letter to administrators outlining the conditions the state must meet to keep its waiver from certain ESEA provisions beyond 2015-16 and the consequences of its loss.
10.06.2015 — Commissioner of Education Michael Williams advised school districts and charters today of his recommendation to replace the current phase-in schedule for the STAAR student passing standards with a standard progression approach.
09.29.2015 — The U.S. Department of Education has approved Texas’ request for a waiver from certain provisions of the ESEA. However, the state is on "high-risk status," meaning it must meet certain conditions to keep the waiver beyond this school year.
09.28.2015 — TEA has released a FAQs document to assist districts with implementation of HB 2610, which requires school districts to provide 75,600 minutes of instruction rather than 180 days.
09.25.2015 — HB 2205 made numerous changes to educator prep programs and to procedures for investigating educator misconduct. The bill also included flexibility with local teaching permits for certain teachers.
09.18.2015 — New legislation expands the opportunities for partnerships between school districts and institutions of higher education.
08.05.2015 — TEA has posted the August issue of Texas Education Today, which provides an extensive recap of new public education laws.
09.08.2015 — Although HB 743 mandates that the redesigned STAAR for grades 3-8 be implemented in 2015-16, a September 4 TEA letter indicates that only a portion of the tests will be redesigned in time for the spring 2016 administration.
07.22.2015 — TASA Governmental Relations staff have compiled a comprehensive list of summaries of education-related bills passed by the 84th Legislature.
06.22.2015 — Sunday, June 21, was Gov. Greg Abbott’s final day to sign or veto bills passed during the regular session.
06.08.2015 — Gov. Abbott is receiving pressure to veto SB 313.
06.03.2015 — TASA has posted short summaries of some key bills we tracked this session, organized by topic.
05.31.2015 — With Sine Die on Monday, June 1, the Legislature worked the weekend to move bills along in the process.
05.29.2015 — Both chambers today passed the state budget bill that has been in negotiations for several weeks. It includes $1.5 billion for the Foundation School Program (FSP) above $2.3 billion for enrollment growth.
05.28.2015 — The House and Senate moved a number of bills forward late Wednesday and Thursday.
05.27.2015 — The House and Senate moved a number of bills forward on Wednesday, May 27.
05.26.2015 — On Tuesday, May 26, the Texas House took action on several bills, including sending SB 313 back to the Senate with changes. The Senate also passed HB 1842, related to school turnaround, late Tuesday night with a number of significant amendments.
05.25.2015 — On Saturday, May 23, the House passed two bills, and on Sunday and Monday, the Senate passed a number of significant education-related bills.
05.25.2015 — On Friday, May 22, the House passed SB 1776, sending it to the governor for signature. The Senate also passed several bills.
05.25.2015 — The House Public Education and Senate Education committees met Friday, May 22, to vote out several pending bills.
05.21.2015 — The House Public Education Committee met Thursday, May 21, and voted out a number of bills, which now go to the full House for consideration.
05.21.2015 — The Senate Education Committee met Thursday, May 21, passing out a number of bills, which now go to the full Senate for consideration.
05.21.2015 — Today the Texas House voted unanimously to approve the Senate’s amendments to HB 4, the governor’s pre-K bill.
05.21.2015 — The Legislative Budget Board has posted the state budget conference committee decisions on public education funding.
05.20.2015 — The Senate Education Committee passed out nine bills on Wednesday, May 20, sending them to the full Senate for consideration.
05.20.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will meet Thursday, May 21, upon final adjournment of the House on a half-dozen Senate bills, including one that would require districts to install video cameras in certain self-contained classrooms.
05.20.2015 — The House and Senate took sent two bills to the governor Monday and Tuesday.
05.19.2015 — The House Public Education Committee met Tuesday, voting out 11 bills.
05.19.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Wednesday, May 20, on two bills related to student assessment and a number of others.
05.18.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Thursday, May 21, on HB 2804, HB 1842, and HB 2811.
05.17.2015 — TEA has posted a FAQs document to provide information on graduation committees following the enactment of SB 149.
05.17.2015 — The House passed a number of bills Friday, May 15.
05.17.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 19, on a number of House bills.
05.15.2015 — The House Public Education Committee is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m., or upon final adjournment of the Texas House, Tuesday, May 19, on nearly a dozen bills.
05.15.2015 — The Senate approved SB 1584 by Eddie Lucio, et al. on May 14, sending it to the House for consideration. The Senate Education Committee also passed the three bills on its agenda Thursday.
05.15.2015 — May 14 was the deadline by which the Texas House had to take initial action on any bill or resolution that originated in that chamber. House bills not heard by midnight Thursday are now dead. The House passed two bills of interest.
05.14.2015 — After introducing HB 1759, the school finance reform bill, on the House floor today, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock postponed further discussion of his bill to July 4, 2015, effectively ending all discussion on the bill for this session.
05.14.2015 — Thursday, May 14, is the deadline by which the Texas House must take initial action on any bill or resolution that originated in that chamber. If a House bill has not been heard by midnight tonight, it is dead.
05.14.2015 — The Senate passed four bills of interest on Wednesday, May 13.
05.14.2015 — After hours of discussion on the House floor on Wednesday, the House ultimately voted down HB 1798, which would have stripped the authority of local school boards. The vote was 76 to 59 against the bill.
05.13.2015 — The Texas House is scheduled to hear Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock’s HB 1759 Thursday.
05.13.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Thursday, May 14, to consider two House bills.
05.13.2015 — The House Public Education Committee met Tuesday, May 12, and considered the four Senate bills on its agenda, including SB 1771 to expand the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium.
05.13.2015 — The Senate passed eight bills on Tuesday, May 12.
05.13.2015 — The House passed six bills on Tuesday, May 12, sending all to the Senate.
05.12.2015 — On Monday, May 11, the Texas House passed four bills, including HB 2811, which limits SBOE-issued proclamations to those with total projected costs not exceeding 75 percent of the total amount of the IMA, and HB 3453, which calls for a study on proposed changes to TRS-ActiveCare.
05.12.2015 — On Monday, May 11, the Senate passed a number of bills, including a House bill that now goes to the governor.
05.12.2015 — The Senate Education Committee met Tuesday, May 12, and passed out two bills while discussing several others, including SB 1012, a local control school district (home-rule) bill.
05.12.2015 — The House will take up HB 1798 first thing Wednesday, May 13. Contact your House member today and urge a NO vote on HB 1798!
05.12.2015 — The Texas Senate is scheduled to debate SB 894 at any time. SB 894 makes significant changes to the virtual school network that would have the same effect as vouchers.
05.11.2015 — Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 149 into law today, making it effective immediately.
05.11.2015 — On Friday, in addition to amending HB 3453 (which the House passed on third reading Monday, May 11) to order an interim study on the impact of proposed changes to TRS-ActiveCare rather than voting to make those changes, the House also passed several bills.
05.11.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 12, to hear four House bills.
05.08.2015 — Today the House passed an amendment to HB 3453 that strikes language requiring changes to TRS-ActiveCare that could have resulted in raised premiums and adds a provision that establishes a joint interim committee to study the impact of the changes proposed by the bill’s original language.
05.08.2015 — The House Public Education Committee held a formal meeting Friday, voting out a number of Senate bills.
05.08.2015 — The House will vote on HB 2811 today. HB 2811 will ensure that the projected cost of proclamations do not exceed 75 percent of the IMA in each biennium. This will provide districts with more discretion on how to use the IMA.
05.07.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at 2 p.m., or upon final adjournment of the House, Tuesday, May 12, on four bills, including the Senate bill that would expand the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium.
05.07.2015 — The Senate Education Committee met Thursday, passing out several bills related to PE for students with disabilities, providing information to students on mental health careers, and electronic parent signatures.
05.07.2015 — The House passed the several bills Wednesday-Thursday.
05.07.2015 — The full Senate passed the governor's pre-K bill with a number of amendments, along with several other bills on Wednesday-Thursday.
05.06.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Thursday, May 7, to consider three bills.
05.06.2015 — The House Public Education Committee passed 20-plus bills on Tuesday, May 5, including CSHB 1536, which would create the Texas Opportunity School District, but also HB 1891, in support of community schools.
05.06.2015 — The House passed four education-related bills on Tuesday, May 5.
05.06.2015 — The Senate passed two education-related bills on Tuesday, May 5.
05.05.2015 — The Senate Education Committee met Tuesday morning and voted out two House bills that were on the committee’s agenda as well as another House bill by Rep. Dan Huberty and four previously considered Senate bills. Details on committee substitutes are not yet available.
05.05.2015 — On Friday and Monday, the House voted out bills on bilingual education certification, assisting at-risk students with child care expenses, ensuring the validity of assessment instruments, and keeping paperwork to a minimum.
05.05.2015 — On Monday, the Senate voted out bills that would expand the THPSC and exclude certain students from the dropout rate calculation.
05.04.2015 — Today Austin ISD announced that it, along with many other school districts and business leaders, will hold a press conference Wednesday, May 6, to send a unified message about the need for adequate funding for Texas public schools. All Texas districts are invited to participate.
05.04.2015 — On Wednesday, the House is set to consider HB 3453, which would allow districts to opt in and out of participation in TRS-ActiveCare and would authorize TRS to establish a regional rating method for determining premiums. TASA encourages school leaders to contact their House members and urge them to vote NO on HB 3453.
05.02.2015 — Last Thursday, SB 149 was sent to Gov. Greg Abbott for signature. With the governor’s signature, the bill would take immediate effect, helping students who have passed all the required courses needed to graduate but who are at risk of not graduating in 2015 because they failed one or two EOC exams.
05.01.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 5, on House bills that would eliminate diploma endorsements and prevent limits on dual-credit courses.
05.01.2015 — The Texas House Public Education Committee will meet at 2 p.m., or upon final adjournment of the House, Tuesday, May 5, on a number of bills, including one that would deepen the TEKS and others sent over from the Senate that would create reading teams/academies.
05.01.2015 — In addition to SB 149, Sen. Kel Seliger’s graduation committee bill, which now goes to the governor, the Senate passed several education bills this week, sending them to the House. They included SB 1200, which establishes a commission to develop recommendations for new systems of student assessment and public school accountability. The bill specifies that the commission would consider the recommendations of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium in its report.
05.01.2015 — The Senate Education Committee passed HB 4, the House's pre-K bill, SB 2046, which requires districts to allow eligible home-schooled students to represent the district in UIL activities, and more.
05.01.2015 — In addition to approving HB 1164, the writing assessment bill by Rep. Gary VanDeaver, the House approved a number of bills this week, sending them to the Senate.
05.01.2015 — The Texas House Pensions Committee will meet at 2 p.m. (or upon final adjournment of the full House), Monday, May 4, on several TRS-related bills.
04.29.2015 — Today, the Senate “concurred” with changes the Texas House made last week to Sen. Kel Seliger’s SB 149, voting 30 to 1 and sending the bill to Gov. Greg Abbott for signature.
04.30.2015 — The Texas House passed Rep. Gary VanDeaver’s HB 1164. It now goes to the Senate.
04.29.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Thursday, April 30, to consider five bills, including the House's pre-K bill.
04.29.2015 — The Senate Education Committee met Tuesday on seven bills, and voted out two.
04.29.2015 — The House Public Education Committee heard testimony Tuesday on SB 6, the campus A-F ratings bill. Rather than passing it on its own, the committee added its provisions to Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock’s bill, HB 2804, which also alters the state public school accountability system. (Reps. Alma Allen, Marsha Farney, Mary Gonzalez, and Gary VanDeaver voted against adding the A-F rating provisions.)
04.29.2015 — Rep. Gary VanDeaver’s HB 1164 is on the House calendar for today. The bill allows districts to determine locally how best to assess a student’s mastery of the writing process vs. the current limited approach via the STAAR written compositions.
04.27.2015 — The Texas House Public Education Committee called a formal meeting following the adjournment of the Texas House on Monday and voted out 16 previously discussed bills.
04.27.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 28, on a variety of new bills.
04.24.2015 — The Texas House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m., or upon adjournment of the Texas House, on Wednesday, April 29, on a number of bills, including several related to public schools.
04.24.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at 8 a.m., Tuesday, April 28, to hear testimony on the a number of new bills as well as the Senate's campus A-F rating bill.
04.23.2015 — The Senate Education Committee met on a dozen new bills on Thursday and voted out SB 1771 and SB 313, among other bills.
04.23.2015 — Both the Texas Senate and House have named the members who will serve on the conference committee that will negotiate the two chambers' differences on HB 1, the state budget bill.
04.22.2015 — The Senate Education Committee called a formal meeting today following adjournment of the full Senate and voted out eight previously considered bills.
04.21.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Thursday, April 23, to consider a dozen bills.
04.21.2015 — The Senate Education Committee heard testimony Tuesday on 10 bills, including SB 1771 by Sen. Larry Taylor. The bill would expand the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium from 20 to 30 school districts.
04.21.2015 — During Tuesday's Senate Education Committee meeting, TASA offered support for SB 313 by Sen. Kel Seliger.
04.21.2015 — The House Public Education Subcommittee on Educator Quality will meet at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, April 23, to consider HB 1373.
04.21.2015 — Today the Texas House gave preliminary approval to SB 149, which would provide relief to high school students who successfully complete their coursework but will not graduate due to failure of EOC exams.
04.21.2015 — Today, without further debate, the full Senate gave final approval to CSSB 4, which would allow a business to receive a tax credit in exchange for a donation to an educational assistance organization that would distribute funding for “scholarships” for special-needs and low-income students who apply for the program.
04.21.2015 — The House Public Education Committee began its meeting Tuesday morning by passing HB 1759 with a 7-to-0 vote. No changes were made to the bill, which now goes to the full House for consideration.
04.20.2015 — The Texas House Public Education Committee met Monday, April 20, following the adjournment of the full House and passed a dozen bills previously heard in March and early April.
04.20.2015 — The full Senate today gave preliminary approval to CSSB 4, the committee substitute for the main private school voucher bill, which could create a “tax credit scholarship” program.
04.20.2015 — The Texas House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m., or upon final adjournment of the Texas House, on Wednesday, April 22, to consider a number of bills, including several that relate to public school districts.
04.20.2015 — SB 149 will be debated on the House floor Tuesday. This bill would provide some relief to students who have successfully completed all of their coursework but will not graduate from high school because they failed to pass a single end-of-course exam.
04.17.2015 — The SBOE Ad Hoc Committee charged with determining the viability of developing a Long Range Plan for Texas public education reported to the full SBOE on Friday, April 17.
04.17.2015 — The Texas Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 21, on a number of bills, including SB 1771, which would expand the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium.
04.16.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at 8 a.m., Tuesday, April 21, to consider 25 bills.
04.15.2015 — The Senate passed SB 106 by Sen. John Whitmire Wednesday with a vote of 26 to 5. The bill, which would treat truancy as a civil court matter, now goes to the House.
04.16.2015 — Today the Senate Education Committee considered SB 1012 by Sen. Kelly Hancock. The bill would amend many current statutes that apply to home-rule school district charters to apply to “local control school districts.”
04.16.2015 — At the nation’s Capitol today, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) unanimously passed the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, the committee’s bipartisan comprehensive reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind.
04.15.2015 — The Senate, which convened at 11 a.m. today, could consider CSSB 14, a parent trigger bill. TASA encourages school leaders to call their senators in opposition to this bill.
04.15.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will reconvene 9 a.m., Thursday, April 16, to consider four new bills, including one related to home-rule.
04.14.2015 — SB 4, the main voucher bill, was not heard on the Senate floor Tuesday as expected, but the Senate passed its two-year, $211.4 billion budget, and many other education-related bills were discussed in both chambers' education committees.
04.13.2015 — SB 4, the voucher bill to watch this session, could be heard on the Senate floor as early as tomorrow. The Senate Education Committee passed the bill out of committee on April 7.
04.10.2015 — The new House Public Education Subcommittee on Educator Quality will meet at 8 a.m., Thursday, April 16, on six bills.
04.10.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 14, to consider seven bills as introduced.
04.09.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will get an early start Tuesday, April 14, meeting at 8 a.m. to hear public testimony on nearly 20 bills, including the House’s school finance reform bill, HB 1759.
04.09.2015 — On Thursday, April 9, the House Public Education Committee voted six bills out of committee, including Rep. Gary VanDeaver's writing assessment bill.
04.09.2015 — The House Pensions Committee will meet at 2 p.m. or upon final adjournment of the full House on Monday, April 13, and will consider several TRS-related bills.
04.08.2015 — The Senate Education Committee met Tuesday, April 7, and passed out four bills.
04.08.2015 — On Tuesday, April 7, the House Public Education Committee passed its first Senate bill, SB 149 by Kel Seliger, with a unanimous vote. TASA and many others in the education community support this bill.
04.09.2015 — After spending hours discussing HB 4 on Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed the bill, which is modeled after Gov. Greg Abbott’s pre-K plan, with a final vote of 128-17-2.
04.08.2015 — After issuing a press release today announcing that results of the 2015 math STAAR for grades 3–8 will be excluded from the 2015 state accountability system, TEA released a detailed summary of changes to the 2014-15 STAAR program that will affect the Texas public school accountability system in 2015.
4.07.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will convene at 9 a.m., Thursday, April 9, to consider a new group of bills as introduced.
04.07.2015 — The House Public Education Committee met today, and Chairman Jimmie Don Aycock laid out HB 1759. He began by noting that the goal was to do what is best for Texas’ 5.2 million Texas public school students, and to also try to simplify the school finance system.
04.07.2015 — The House Public Education Committee met Monday, April 6, and passed seven bills, which will now go to the full House for consideration.
04.02.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Tuesday, April 7, on bills related to the Texas Opportunity School District as well as community schools.
04.02.2015 — The Texas House Public Education Committee will meet Monday, April 6, at 1 p.m. to consider pending business, then on Tuesday, April 7, at 2 p.m. to consider bills including HB 1759 and SB 149.
04.01.2015 — Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams submitted a notice of intent to the U.S. Department of Education March 31 that says the state will submit its request for annual renewal of its conditional waiver from certain NCLB requirements after the 2015 Texas legislative session.
04.01.2015 — In a marathon meeting of the Texas House of Representatives Tuesday that lasted into Wednesday morning, the House considered more than 350 amendments to its budget bill, HB 1.
03.31.2015 — Today at noon, the Texas House of Representatives will begin debating more than 350 amendments to HB 1, the Appropriations Act. Included in the amendments are several relating to school funding and vouchers.
03.30.15 — After much discussion, the Senate passed SB 6 today with a vote of 20 to 10. The bill would require Texas campuses to receive A-F performance ratings rather than ratings of exemplary, recognized, acceptable, or unacceptable.
03.30.2015 — The Texas Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m. on April 1 in the Betty King Room at 2E.20 in the Capitol to consider bills on waiving superintendent certification, establishing teacher academies, and more.
03.27.2015 — The Texas House Elections Committee will meet Monday, March 30, at 2 p.m. or upon adjournment of the House to discuss three bills related to school bond elections.
03.27.2015 — The Texas House Pensions Committee will meet Monday, March 30, at 2 p.m. or upon adjournment of the House to discuss several bills including HB 2168, which would provide that a TRS annuity payment is payable on the first day of each month.
03.25.2015 — Texas Senate Education Committee Chair Larry Taylor and House Public Education Committee Chair Jimmie Don Aycock, as well as Sen. Royce West and Rep. Larry Gonzales, addressed attendees at today’s TASA/TASB Legislative Conference in Austin.
03.24.2015 — The Senate suspended the rules today to allow the Senate Education Committee to call a previously unannounced meeting at 12:30 p.m. During the meeting, the committee passed out three bills related to teacher certification and development first considered by the committee on March 19.
03.23.2015 — Several private school voucher bills will be heard by the Texas Senate Education Committee at 8 a.m., Thursday, March 26 in Room E1.028 on the first floor of the Capitol Extension.
03.23.2015 — The House Public Education Subcommittee on Educator Quality will meet at 8 a.m., Thursday, March 26, to consider four bills on teacher certification and assignment.
03.19.2015 — The Texas House Public Education Committee will meet at 2 p.m., or upon final adjournment of the House, on Tuesday, March 24, to hear testimony on a number of bills, including HB 742, which would eliminate the fourth- and seventh-grade writing and eighth-grade social studies STAAR tests, as well as the the U.S. History EOC exam.
03.18.2015 — The Senate suspended the rules yesterday to allow the Senate Education Committee to call a previously unannounced meeting immediately following the adjournment of the full Senate. During the meeting, the committee passed out four bills previously considered by the committee.
03.18.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet for the second time this week at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 19. Members will consider seven bills.
03.17.2015 — Sen. Seliger’s SB 149 relating to alternative methods for satisfying certain public high school graduation requirements, including the use of individual graduation committees, passed the Senate today with a vote of 28 ayes and 2 nays. Four amendments were adopted as well.
03.17.2015 — TASA urges superintendents to contact their state representatives and ask them to sign on to sponsor HB 1475 to ensure district telecommunications discounts are continued beyond January 1, 2016.
03.16.2015 — The Senate and House Education Committee chairs have filed bills that would alter the state's public school accountability system.
03.12.2015 — During the March 12 Senate Education Committee meeting, TASA expressed opposition to SB 6, a bill that would require Texas campuses to receive A-F performance ratings.
03.12.2015 — Friday, March 13, is the deadline by which legislators must file bills to be considered this session.
03.12.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will meet Tuesday, March 17, at 2 p.m. or upon adjournment of the full House. The committee will discuss seven bills as introduced.
03.09.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Thursday, March 12, to consider six bills as introduced.
03.09.2015 — A few legislators have filed a number of bills relating to truancy this session that lessen the related penalties. The House Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. or upon final adjournment of the House on Wednesday, March 11, to consider these eight bills as introduced.
03.06.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at 2 p.m. or upon adjournment of the House on Tuesday, March 10, to consider six early education bills.
03.05.2015 — On March 3, the Senate Education Committee unanimously approved a substitute bill for Sen. Kel Seliger’s SB 149. The current version allows students who failed up to two EOCs to receive their diplomas with the unanimous approval of an individual graduation committee composed of teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents.
03.05.2015 — The workgroup on issues related to Article III (education) includes: Sen. Larry Taylor (chair), Sen. Kelly Hancock, Sen. Joan Huffman, Sen. Kel Seliger, and Sen. Royce West.
03.05.2015 — Gov. Greg Abbott set an emergency special election for March 31, 2015, to fill the House District 124 (San Antonio) seat recently vacated by Sen. José Menéndez, who was elected to the Senate in a special election.
03.03.2015 — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sen. Larry Taylor, chair of the Senate Education Committee, held a press conference this morning in which they lined out several bills they said would be part of a package of legislation this session designed to further “reform” public education.
02.26.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will meet to consider pending business at 2 p.m. or upon adjournment in room E2.036.
02.26.2015 — The subcommittee will hold an organizational meeting with invited testimony only to consider issues related to educator quality at 2:30 p.m. or upon adjournment of the full committee in room E2.036.
02.20.2015 — SB 149 by Sen. Kel Seliger is a critical bill that was the sole focus of the Senate Education Committee hearing on February 19. It is urgent that this bill pass as soon as possible in order to benefit the students in the class of 2015 who have passed all of their courses but failed one or more EOC exams.
02.19.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will meet February 24 at 2 p.m. See a list of the bills to be considered.
02.19.2015 — In its first meeting of the 2015 session, the Senate Education Committee quickly took care of housekeeping issues and began hearing public testimony on SB 149 by Sen. Seliger.
02.17.2015 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, February 19, to consider and adopt committee rules and conduct other organizational business. The committee will also hear public testimony on SB 149 by Kel Seliger.
02.17.2015 — The House Public Education Committee met today and heard invited testimony on key issues, including an overview of the public school accountability system as well as the STAAR and its relationship to the TEKS. The chair also announced the members of the new subcommittee on teacher quality.
02.17.2015 — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott began his first State of the State address, given to a joint session of the Texas Legislature today, with a discussion of public education.
02.16.2015 — During the State Board of Education meeting, February 11-13, SBOE member Donna Bahorich invited her fellow Board members to join her in signing a letter addressed to Commissioner Michael Williams, asking him to provide relief from accountability requirements associated with Grades 3-8 math for the 2014-15 school year and possibly 2015-16.
02.13.2015 — The 84th legislative session is in full swing and committees have begun meeting. To date, TASA staff is tracking approximately 360 bills. See our list of bill summaries.
02.12.2015 — The House Appropriations subcommittees were announced today. Rep. Trent Ashby was named chair of Article III, which handles public education and TRS budget matters. Other members of the subcommittee are: Rep. Helen Giddings (vice chair), Rep. Donna Howard, Rep. Marisa Marquez, Rep. Dade Phelan, Rep. John Raney, and Rep. Gary VanDeaver.
02.11.2015 — The Texas Senate Finance Committee and House Appropriations Committee heard recommendations on public education and TRS funding from the Legislative Budget Board and TEA in meetings Monday-Wednesday this week.
02.11.2015 — The Texas Senate Finance Committee met today to discuss the health of the TRS pension and health insurance programs. TRS staff testified that the pension system was actuarially sound, and there was a 16 percent return on investments last year. However, agency staff expressed concern over an expected $768 million shortfall during the next biennium with TRS-Care due to health insurance costs outpacing contributions.
02.11.2015 — The House Public Education Committee will hold an organizational meeting Tuesday, February 17, at 2 p.m. in room E2.036. The committee will hear invited testimony only to consider issues related to public education.
02.04.2015 — Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus named the members of the House Public Education Committee. Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock will continue to serve as chair.
02.03.2015 — The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to begin hearing testimony on the state budget related to education funding on Feb. 9 at 11 a.m. and on TRS on Feb. 11 at 9 a.m. The committee will discuss Article III, and specifically TEA. SB 2, the Senate's version of the appropriations bill, includes the following highlights:
02.03.2015 — A joint commissioner's letter on the new FAFSA MOU requirement was posted last week on TEA's Administrator Addressed. Superintendents must complete, sign, and return the MOU to the coordinating board before the February 27 deadline.
02.03.2015 — After receiving questions related to the recent changes to GASB rules (Rule 67 & 68), TRS staff created a one–page FAQ document to assist in implementing and communicating what the new changes mean for districts. The rules separate pension accounting from pension funding. GASB considers TRS a multi-employer, cost-sharing pension plan. This means that the unfunded net pension liability must be allocated among all participating employers proportionately.
01.24.2015 — Earlier today, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced the Senate committee assignments for the 84th Texas Legislature. "After much though and careful consideration, today I am announcing the members selected to serve on the fourteen committees approved by the Texas Senate. These committees will work on the critical issues that affect all Texans," said Patrick.
01.23.2015 — TEA released a press release today noting that the USDE had rejected the State's guidelines for a new teacher and principal evaluation system. "Based on the review of Texas' guidelines and taking into account the feedback from the expert peers, I have determined that Texas has not yet adopted guidelines for teacher and principal evaluation and support systems that meet all requirements of ESEA flexibility, nor does it have a process for ensuring that each district in Texas develops, adopts, pilots, and implements teacher and principal evaluation and support systems consistent with those guidelines as required by ESEA flexibility," wrote Deborah S. Delisle with the USDE.
01.15.2015 — The Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, in advance of the legislative session, submitted its "Update on the Progress of the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium," required by Section 7.0561(j), Education Code, to Commissioner Michael Williams. The report has been transmitted to the governor and the members of the 84th Legislature.
01.13.2015 — Comptroller Glen Hegar laid out his revenue estimate for the upcoming 2016-17 biennium. Hegar noted that the state will have $113 billion in available revenue, which is $9.7 billion more than the previous biennium. He noted that the projections are based on a moderate expanding state economy, tempered with the uncertainty around oil prices and a slowing global economy.
01.13.2015 — House Public Education chairman Jimmie Don Aycock filed HB 654 today, which would make major changes to the current school finance system. HB 654 would create School Finance Districts (SFD), which would force consolidation of districts for tax purposes only.
01.09.2015 — The Texas House of Representatives released interim committee reports for the upcoming 84th Legislative Session that begins January 13, 2015, including the report by the Public Education Committee.
01.08.2015 — Thursday, Lt. Governor–Elect Dan Patrick held a press conference outlining his priorities for the 84th Legislative Session that convenes Tuesday, January 13.
12.12.2014 — In an ongoing effort to highlight the significant role ESCs play in assisting school districts across the state that serve the needs of more than 5 million students, TASA Governmental Relations has prepared a white paper that superintendents can share with legislators.
12.10.2014 — The Senate State Affairs Committee met today to discuss the following interim charge: Monitor the actuarial and financial conditions of the pension and health care programs administered by the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) and the Employees Retirement System (ERS).
12.10.2014 — TEA's application for a federal preschool grant, the Texas Prekindgarten Expansion Grant, did not receive an award.
12.09.2014 — TEA has announced that it will move the testing date for the STARR mathematics assessments for grades 5 and 8 from March 30, 2015, to April 20, 2015.
12.03.2014 — Today, Comptroller Susan Combs issued the 2014 FAST results. There are 46 five-star charter and public school districts in 2014.
12.03.2014 – The Texas Education Agency released the final 2014 state accountability system ratings for more than 1,200 school districts and charters, and more than 8,500 campuses. The final ratings are issued following an appeals process provided to districts and charters that contested the district or campus ratings originally announced in August.
12.02.2014 — The 2015 STAAR Alternate 2 administration window was originally planned for two weeks in an effort to minimize the amount of time taken from instruction. The length of the administration window reflected the data collected following the pilot test conducted in January 2014. While districts have not had experience with the new test design beyond the pilot test, some have expressed concern that it may be difficult to complete the administration in the time allowed.
12.01.2014 — The Coalition for Public Schools is hosting a pre-legislative education symposium that will examine the flaws of voucher programs. Respected academic researchers and Texas education leaders will discuss the various issues on Tuesday, December 2.
12.01.2014 — At this week's SBOE meeting, the Committee on Instruction held a discussion on the implementation of the revised mathematics TEKS. Based on feedback from administrators, classroom teachers, curriculum specialists, and ESC personnel regarding concerns about the implementation of the math TEKS, TASA shared observations and recommendations with SBOE chair Barbara Cargill in response to her request for suggestions.
11.25.2014 — The TASA legislative priorities for the 2015 legislative session have been finalized. TASA will support or oppose and initiate legislation during the 84th Legislative Session that aligns with the association’s priorities.
11.05.2014 — In the race for Texas Governor, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott defeated Texas Senator Wendy Davis. With more than 98% of the precincts reported, Governor-elect Abbott received 2,775,589 votes (59.28%). Texas Senator Wendy Davis received 1,820,657 votes (38.88%).
10.28.2014 — TEA has submitted an application for a federal preschool expansion grant and is calling the proposal the Texas Prekindergarten Expansion Grant (PEG).
10.09.2014 — The joint interim committee to study Education Policy for a Skilled Workforce will meet at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 14 to discuss the impact of career and technical education’s impact on high school graduation, transitions to postsecondary education, industry-based certification, a postsecondary certificate, or an associate’s degree.
10.09.2014 — The Senate Higher Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 13 to discuss the alignment between high school coursework and expectations in freshman level college coursework, and study the impact of particular coursework, like math (including Algebra II) and science courses, as predictors of college readiness and success. The committee will also review and make recommendations regarding the use of dual credit coursework and other secondary school programs for college credit.
10.09.2014 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at 10 am on October 16 in room E2.036 to consider the following interim charges:
10.09.2014 — The Senate Education Committee met on Aug. 26 to hear invited and public testimony on several interim charges, including a review of the STAAR writing test and an update from Commissioner Williams on STAAR EOC passing rates for the class of 2015. Two notable testifiers at that hearing included superintendent Dawson Orr, and a writing test grader contracted by Pearson, Zenobia Joseph.
10.07.2014 — TEA has proposed revisions to the Student Attendance Accounting Handbook for school Year 2014–15.
09.27.2014 — The House Public Education Committee will hold a joint hearing with the House Committee on Corrections at 10 a.m., Wednesday, October 8, 2014 to discuss the following interim charge:
09.26.2014 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8 to hear recommendations on the following interim charge:
09.24.2014 — The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III will meet at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 7 to review the Speaker's Strategic Fiscal Review Charge.
09.08.2014 — Every August before the Texas Legislature meets, state agencies are required to submit to the Governor's Office and Legislative Budget Board (LBB) a Legislative Appropriations Request (LAR) for the next biennium. TEA's entire LAR for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 is posted here. The request includes base budget items, as well as exceptional items (those that require new money beyond the base budget).
08.29.2014 — In a 21-page Final Judgment, State District Judge John Dietz declared the Texas school finance system "constitutionally inadequate, unsuitable, and financially inefficient" and ordered that further funding stop "under the system until the constitutional infirmities are corrected."
08.27.2014 — Today the Senate Education Committee met to hear invited and public testimony on several interim charges and to hear from Commissioner Williams on the passing rates of STAAR EOCs for the class of 2015.
08.26.2014 — Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has instructed the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) to include the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in a zero-based budgeting pilot program for the upcoming session. The review will focus on administrative functions, grants and programs but will not include the Foundation School Program.
08.11.2014 — The Senate Finance Committee will meet at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, August 12 to review the following:
08.11.2014 — The House Committees on Defense and Veterans Affairs and Licensing and Administrative Procedures met Thursday to hear invited testimony from several state agencies, including the Texas Education Agency, regarding occupational licenses and employment for military personnel.
08.07.2014 — Today, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst announced all remaining interim charges for committee consideration. The new charges issued to Senate Education are as follows:
08.04.2014 — The Committee on Defense and Veterans' Affairs will meet with the Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures for a Joint Interim Hearing on August 7th, 2014 at 10 a.m. in room E1.030.
07.30.2014 — The Select Committee on the Fiscal Impact of Texas Border Support Operations met Tuesday to hear invited testimony from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Military Forces, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and the Texas Education Agency.
07.28.2014 — The Select Committee on the Fiscal Impact of Texas Border Support Operations will meet tomorrow, July 29, 2014, at 10 a.m. in Room E2.010 at the Texas Capitol to hear invited testimony regarding the short and long term fiscal impact of increased operations along the Texas-Mexico border.
07.28.2014 — Education Commissioner Michael Williams has asked Attorney General Greg Abbott whether an independent school district may use the certified estimate of property tax values to adopt a tax rate after adopting its budget in order to schedule a tax ratification election for the November uniform election date.
07.23.2014 — Commissioner of Education Michael Williams has requested an extension of the state's waiver from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Along with his request, he notified U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that the state would be adding an additional year to the pilot program for the new teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.
07.22.2014 — The Senate Higher Education Committee will convene a public hearing on July 22 at 9 a.m. in room E1.012 to consider the following:
07.18.2014 — State Board of Education members received an update on Wednesday from TEA staff regarding the Instructional Materials Allotment (IMA) that included a discussion of funding, ordering, and requests for disbursements. Board member Thomas Ratliff reminded the board that there use to be separate allotments, one for instructional materials and another for technology. The IMA merged the two allotments into one fund but did not provide enough money for districts to sufficiently purchase what was needed in both areas.
07.01.2014 — The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts issued a report on public school construction costs that looks at construction cost data from 2007 through 2013 and includes a searchable database and interactive maps to compare school district's construction costs with others around the state.
07.01.2014 — On Monday, six national organizations representing the nation's rural education community released a joint statement expressing disappointment and frustration with the Federal Communication Commission's recently announced proposed changes to the E-Rate program.
06.26.2014 — The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Article III will convene a public hearing on July 10 at 1 p.m. in room E1.030 to consider the following interim charge.
06.24.2014 — The Senate Education Committee will meet on August 26, 2014 at 10 a.m. in E1.028 to hear invited and public testimony on a portion of Interim Charge 1, which relates to examining STAAR writing scores for elementary, middle and high school students, and on Interim Charge 2, which relates to monitoring and making recommendations of legislation addressed by the Senate Education Committee during the Regular and Called Sessions of the 83rd Texas Legislature.
06.18.2014 — Sen. Dan Patrick, sponsor of HB 462 that prohibited the adoption of Common Core Standards in Texas, asked Attorney General Greg Abbott whether school districts using the Common Core Standards in any way to teach state standards violate the law.
06.11.2014 — The TRS board made several changes to TRS–Care benefit plans to comply with the Affordable Care Act. Deductibles and co–insurance paid by TRS–Care 2 & 3 will now be counted to satisfy the out-of-pocket maximum beginning with the 2014-15 plan year.
06.10.2014 — In addition to the premium increases, there were also benefit changes that will become effective September 1, 2014.
06.10.2014 — The TRS Board met last week and set premium rates and made benefit changes effective for the 2014-15 plan year. The rate and benefit changes only impact TRS-ActiveCare. The board made no changes to TRS-Care.
05.27.2014 — The Primary Runoff Election is today, May 27. Voters will vote in one of the two political party elections. If a voter voted in the primary election, the voter must vote in the same political party runoff election. If a voter did not vote in the primary election, the voter may still vote in the runoff election and for the party of their choice.
05.22.2014 — According to the newest version of the document "Tracking the Education Dollar in Texas Public Schools," public education remains a labor-intensive operation, with salaries and benefits accounting for 80 percent of basic educational costs.
05.20.2014 — The Jobs for Texas Coalition is facilitating HB 5 symposiums across the state. Stakeholders throughout business and industry, public education and higher education are invited to learn, discuss, and collaborate on the vital issues of workforce development and education reform under the state’s new laws and regulations. Many TASA superintendents in the regions in which the symposiums are being held will be included on the agendas, as will Texas legislators in the area.
05.15.2014 — On Wednesday Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock held a public hearing on Interim Charge Two: Explore innovative, research-based options for improving student achievement beyond standardized test scores. Evaluate standards for effective campus management as well as teacher preparation, certification, and training.
05.14.2014 — Commissioner Williams sent a letter regarding the Teacher Evaluation and Support System to House Public Education Committee Chair Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock and all committee members. In his two-page letter, the Commissioner noted.
05.14.2014 — The House Public Education Committee will meet today at 10 a.m.
05.08.2014 — Today, Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott announced phase three of his "Educating Texans Plan." To ensure that Texans have high-quality digital learning, he recommends creating a technology grant program, improving student access to the Texas Virtual School Network, providing online tutoring services for mandatory end-of-course exams, creating "innovation grants" to develop or implement blended online education models, and funding professional development for teachers who wish to implement blended learning classes.
05.06.2014 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at 10 am on May 14 in room E2.036 to discuss the following interim charge.
05.05.2014 — In an effort to extend the Texas waiver from certain NCLB provisions TEA agreed to develop new teacher and principal evaluation systems that include a student growth measure.
05.05.2014 — Previously, I released some information about superintendent salaries for charter schools compared to salaries for superintendents of ISDs across Texas. Due to the overwhelming response, I offer Part 2 to my financial comparisons between ISDs and charter schools in Texas.
04.29.2014 — Comptroller Combs has published data on school district construction costs. The report looked at 877 new school campuses opened by 374 school districts or charter operators from 2007 to 2013. The data gathered by the comptroller was in response to a public information request that was sent from the comptroller's office. Districts can submit new or corrected data to the Comptroller's office by May15.
04.23.2014 — Tuesday, the House Committee on Public Education met to consider the following interim charge: Review successful strategies and methods that have improved student achievement at chronically underperforming schools. Identify alternatives that could be offered to current students who are attending these schools and determine how to turn these schools around. Identify the benefits and concerns with alternative governance of underperforming schools.
04.17.2014 — TASA has added new materials for members on the TASA HB 5 resource web page. The first new resource is under the heading HB 5 Graduation Requirements. The Institute of Public School Initiatives has produced videos providing parents and students information about the new graduation requirements.
04.14.2014 — The House Public Education Committee is scheduled to meet at the capitol on Tuesday, April 22 at 10 a.m. to discuss the following interim charge.
04.10.2014 – Lt. Governor Dewhurst has released another round of interim charges for several senate committees.
04.10.2014 – The senate committee on Intergovernmental Relations will meet Thursday, April 17 at 10 a.m. to discuss the following interim charges:
04.10.2014 — The Senate Committee on Higher Education is scheduled to meet at the capitol on Tuesday, April 15 at 10 a.m. to discuss the following interim charge:
04.10.2014 — The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to meet at the capitol on Monday, April 14 at 10 a.m. to discuss the following interim charges:
04.03.2014— TASA contacted the Texas Education Agency regarding the conflicting TELL Texas survey dates. Associate Commissioner Michele Moore apologized for any confusion and confirmed that the TELL Texas survey is open from April 7–May 31.
04.03.2014 — TASA has compiled a list of resources from various sources related to House Bill 5 to assist districts with implementation.
04.02.2014 — It has come to our attention that an email correspondence was sent to ESC executive directors on March 31 from TEA Associate Commissioner, Education Quality and Leadership, Michelle Moore. In the email Ms. Moore thanks the ESC directors for "contacting TEA regarding the timing of legislatively mandated surveys" and asks that they forward information to superintendents in their region about new survey dates.
03.31.2014 — We have received many inquiries from superintendents who have expressed concerns about the TELL Texas survey when campus principals began receiving packets before the date listed on the TELL Texas website and before TEA notified superintendents about the survey.
03.28.2014 — We are receiving many inquiries from superintendents who are concerned about the TELL Texas survey they first learned about via TEA correspondence yesterday. We are providing pertinent information about the survey to ensure that superintendents can plan accordingly with their campus principals.
03.23.2014 — TEA has posted a FAQ on Endorsements available here.
03.23.2014 — Today, TEA sent notice to school districts authorizing the use of calculator apps for 8th grade STAAR mathematics for the 2014–15 school year. The letter to administrators notes that the use of apps will be allowed on a pilot basis. Districts can satisfy the graphing calculator requirement with either a handheld calculator or a graphing calculator app that is available on an electronic tablet. The agency is still prohibiting the use of smart phones.
03.12.2014 — The Senate Education Committee will meet at on Monday, April 14 to consider the following interim charges.
03.07.2014 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at on Wednesday, March 26 to consider the following interim charges.
03.05.2014 — The Lone Star state held its primary contests Tuesday, kicking off the 2014 election season.
02.27.2014 — A list of currently posted House and Senate interim charges related to public education are now available. We will provide updates on these issues as they become available.
01.31.2014 — Today, Texas House Speaker Joe Straus announced interim charges for committees in the Texas House of Representatives. The charges issued to the Public Education Committee are summarized as follows.
01.31.2014 — After a third public hearing on HB 5 graduation requirements and lengthy discussion throughout the SBOE meeting this week, the board adopted final high school graduation rules.
01.30.2014 — Today, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst announced interim charges for three Senate committees. The two charges issued to the Intergovernmental Relations Committee are relevant to school districts.
01.24.2014 — TASA has created a FREE online toolkit to assist districts in complying with a section of HB 5 that relates to community engagement. TASA staff gathered input from various organizations, superintendents, and central office administrators representing districts across the state to develop an electronic tool that will assist districts in implementing this new legislative requirement.
01.21.2014 — The State Board of Education (SBOE) has held two hearings thus far on draft graduation rules to align with HB 5 requirements. Prior to “First Reading” of the proposed rules, the SBOE asked that the public share comments directly with the board via a SBOE email address. The board reviewed the comments and incorporated the input into the next version of the rules.
12.12.2013 — TEA has posted the proposed SBOE rules that will govern high school graduation requirements.The public comment period does not begin until December 20 and ends at the next SBOE meeting scheduled for January 29–31, 2014.
12.03.2013 — A provision in HB 5 requires all school districts to complete local evaluations on community and student engagement (TEC 39.0545). The statute requires each district to designate a performance rating for the district and each campus in the district. The rating must be exemplary, recognized, acceptable, or unacceptable.
11.26.13 — The State Board of Education (SBOE) met last week to consider on first reading changes to the graduation requirements that relate to the passage of HB 5. While HB 5 did not require Algebra II as a requirement for any of the endorsements, the draft rules posted by TEA prior to the SBOE meeting included Algebra II as a requirement for all five endorsements.
11.19.2013 — TASA, TASB, and Moak Casey & Associates have prepared a document that addresses questions related to the SBOE’s work on HB 5 graduation requirements. Our intent in developing the document was to provide a resource for frequently asked questions about postsecondary readiness, Algebra II and other advanced math courses, and the content of the new TSI assessment.
11.11.2013 — We are enclosing a document that was provided today to the State Board of Education (SBOE), the House Public Education Committee office, the Senate Education Committee office, the Speaker's office, and the Lt. Governor's office. The document and cover letter consist of recommendations to the SBOE regarding the draft graduation rules that TEA recently prepared and posted on their behalf.
10.30.2013 — On Wednesday, TEA provided LEAs with an important update to TEA’s plan regarding IDEA-B LEA MOE compliance determinations.
10.18.2013 — On Tuesday, November 5, 2013, Texas voters will decide whether to approve or reject nine proposed constitutional amendments passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature. The first day of early voting is October 21, 2013.
10.17.2013 — Today the TEA released draft rules to be considered by the SBOE at its November meeting regarding the new foundation high school graduation program under House Bill 5.
10.17.2013 — The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) is meeting in Austin next week on Oct. 24th at 8:30 a.m. They have posted their agenda. Included is a "major policy discussion" on the implications of HB 5.
10.10.2013 — In the October issue of Texas Education Today, TEA includes an article on the rules the SBOE directed agency staff to draft to flesh out the new Foundation High School Program.
10.01.2013 — The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes many changes related to health insurance systems. The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) has developed useful resources for school districts describing the impact of ACA on Texas school districts.
09.23.2013 — At last week's State Board of Education meeting, board members requested feedback from public education leaders as to what courses should be included in the various endorsement programs and which courses should count as "advanced."
09.19.2013 — The SBOE did not begin their discussion on HB 5 graduation requirements until 6:30 p.m. at their board meeting on Wednesday.
09.18.2013 — On Tuesday, the SBOE held a four-hour hearing on HB 5. Dr. Buck Gilcrease, superintendent of Hillsboro ISD, testified on behalf of TASA stressing three main points:
09.13.2013 — A public hearing before the SBOE is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. in the William B. Travis building, room 1-104 in Austin. Those who wish to provide public testimony can go to the TEA link to register online between 8 a.m. today (Friday, September 13) and 5 p.m. (Monday, September 16)
09.10.2013 — House Bill 1501, authored by Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, requires public schools to commemorate the events of September 11, 2001 with a moment of silence at the beginning of the first class period of that day.
08.30.2013 — Commissioner Williams in a letter to administrators announced his intent to file rules that would allow current seniors to graduate under the new Foundation High School Program, as allowed by HB 5.
08.29.2013 — TASA staff has been informed by TEA that a final waiver request regarding NCLB requirements was submitted to the USDE on August 28, 2013. TEA will be posting the revised request on the their website in the near future.
08.13.2013 — A district judge signed a temporary restraining order prohibiting Llano ISD from using CSCOPE lesson plans until the lessons have been reviewed by the State Board of Education.
08.12.2013 — State Board of Education member Thomas Ratliff and chairman of the education committee Sen. Dan Patrick have agreed to debate the controversial CSCOPE curriculum.
08.09.2013 — Due to the ongoing negotiations, local educational agencies (LEAs) will not be required to implement current Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)-related School Improvement Program (SIP) requirements prior to the start of school year 2013-2014. This delay in implementation is a temporary suspension pending the outcome of the continuing waiver negotiations.
08.01.2013 — On Thursday the State Board of Education (SBOE) held a work session in Austin to discuss HB 5 graduation requirements. TEA staff facilitated the work session and walked the board through a set of resources that outlined the board's responsibilities regarding graduation requirements in HB 5.
07.31.2013 — Gov. Rick Perry called lawmakers back for a third special session of the Texas Legislature, beginning immediately, with transportation funding as the only item on the agenda at this time.
07.25.2013 — TASA's Final Bill Report, which includes bill summaries on education-related legislation by TASA's governmental relations staff, is now available online.
06.27.2013 — Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday announced a second called Special Session that will begin at 2 p.m. Monday, July 1.
06.27.2013 — The TASA Forum on the 83rd Legislature, presented by TASA Governmental Relations staff at the UT/TASA Summer Conference on Education, is now posted to the TASA website under Advocacy Resources.
06.14.2013 — Please see attached in-depth bill summary of HB 5. It will be included in the TASA Final Bill Report later this summer, along with other bills our organization was tracking during the 83rd Legislative Session. We know that there are many questions surrounding the implementation of HB 5 requirements, and many questions needing answers quickly in order to ensure a smooth transition. TASA will keep you informed as TEA rolls out the transition plan and issues other pertinent information.
06.10.2013 — On Monday, Governor Rick Perry signed into law HB 5 (Rep. Aycock), which reduces the number of end-of-course exams required for graduation from 15 to 5 and creates more flexible graduation plans for students. A more detailed analysis of HB 5 will be available soon.
06.03.2013 — As of today, Governor Perry still has not signed HB 5 into law, the comprehensive testing and graduation bill. TASA, along with TAMSA, TASB and several other organizations have posted an open letter to Governor Perry asking that he sign the bill as soon as possible.
05.28.2013 — The House and Senate both unanimously passed the final version of HB 5. HB 5 will become law unless the governor vetoes the bill (June 16 is the deadline for the veto period). It is imperative that we not take anything for granted.
05.28.2013 — The House and Senate adjourned sine die, bringing the 83rd Legislative session to an end Monday. Many education-related bills were filed and deliberated during the past 140 days. Below is a recap of some key pieces of legislation that TASA staff was following. Please note, this list is not exhaustive and a more detailed summary of bills that passed and failed will be forthcoming. The governor has until June 16 to veto, sign or let legislation become law without his signature.
05.24.2013 — With three days left in the 83rd legislative session, many bills are still on the move and many others are still being negotiated in conference committees. Bills that remain in limbo include HB 5, the budget bills, SB 2 on charters, the TRS bill, and HB 2836, the bill that addresses testing in grades 3-8.
05.23.2013 — Please contact members of the HB 5 conference committee TODAY and ask that HB 5 be left "clean." Suggested talking points below.
05.22.2013 — The Conference Committee on HB 5 (Aycock) held a brief meeting on Tuesday to review the major differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The committee discussed the various graduation endorsements between the two version of the bill, as well as the use of letter grades to determine campus and district ratings; however, no decisions were made at this meeting.
05.21.2013 — On Tuesday, Sen. Paxton laid out HB 2824, the bill related to the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, for consideration on the Senate floor. With no discussion and no amendments, the Senate moved final passage of HB 2824 by a vote of 31-0. HB 2824 was passed by the full House on a vote of 129-0 and has successfully made its way through the legislative process without a single vote in opposition.
05.20.2013 — The Texas House is scheduled to debate SB 1718 on Tuesday. SB 1718 creates a statewide Texas Achievement School District (TASD) with its own superintendent that is appointed by the commissioner of education. The TASD would manage and operate campuses identified as unacceptable for two consecutive years that have been removed from the local school district at the discretion of the commissioner of education.
05.17.2013 — The Senate Committee on Education met Thursday to consider several new and pending House bills. Of particular interest, the committee heard discussion of HB 2824, the bill relating to the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium.
05.17.2013 — The House passed on second reading SB 2, the comprehensive charter bill, on a vote of 102-34. The bill will be brought back to the House floor for third reading and final approval today. It is possible that additional amendments could be added at that time.
05.15.2013 — The Senate Education committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 16, in room E1.028 to discuss the following bills:
05.14.2013 — The Senate Education committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. today, May 14, in room E1.028 to discuss the following bills:
05.08.2013 — On Wednesday, the Senate passed SB 1458 by Sen. Robert Duncan by a vote of 30-0. SB 1458 gets the TRS pension fund actuarially sound within the 31-year funding period to ensure the continuation of the current defined benefit pension program, and provides a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for some retirees.
05.07.2013 — HB 2824, relating to the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, will be heard on the House floor later today. Please contact your House members in support of HB 2824. The information below contains our response to the letter of opposition relating to HB 2824 that was circulated by Bill Hammond on behalf of TAB late yesterday. To date, 32 chambers of commerce across Texas have passed a resolution against the current high-stakes testing and accountability system, so it is clear that Mr. Hammond does not speak on behalf of all businesses in the state.
05.07.2013 — The Senate unanimously approved House Bill 5 on Monday, making a number of amendments to the graduation and testing bill. The bill reduces the number of end-of-course exams needed for graduation from 15 to five, requiring biology, U.S. history, Algebra I, and English I and II (combining the reading and writing into one test).
05.05.2013 — The Committee Substitute for HB 2824 (Rep. Ratliff), as voted unanimously from the House Committee on Public Education, has been set on the House Calendar for Tuesday, May 7. Please contact your representative(s) and ask them to support HB 2824 on the House floor Tuesday.
05.05.2013 — Please contact your senator again and encourage him or her to vote for HB 5. It is critical that you call your senator, whether Democrat or Republican, to reiterate how important it is to pass this bill.
05.02.2013 — The Senate could consider SB 1458 by Sen. Robert Duncan as early as Friday. SB 1458 seeks to get the TRS pension fund actuarially sound within the 31-year funding period to ensure the continuation of the current defined benefit pension program, and provide a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for some retirees.
04.30.2013 — On Monday, HB 2836 by Ratliff was approved on second reading by the full House on a voice vote. Two amendments were adopted on the floor. The first amendment, by Rep. Diane Patrick, eliminates the STAAR writing test in grade 4 (the grade 7 writing test was already removed from the 3–8 system when the bill was first filed) and reinstates the social studies test in grade 8.
04.29.2013 — The Senate Education committee will meet at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 30, in room E1.028 to discuss the following bills:
04.26.2013 — Contact Your Legislators in support of the following two major bills. HB 5 by Aycock, as substituted in Senate Education, is set on the Senate Intent Calendar for Monday, April 29. The bill may be amended on the Senate floor. Once the bill has been voted out of the Senate, it goes back to the full House. The House can accept the amended bill, or not. If the House does not accept the amended bill it will go to conference committee where final decisions regarding content will be made by appointed members of each chamber. The bill will go before both chambers for an up or down vote (no amendments).
04.26.2013 — The Senate Education committee has posted a public hearing to be held at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 30, in room E1.028 to discuss the following bills:
04.24.2013 — The Senate Education Committee will meet Thursday, April 25 at 8:00 a.m. in room E1.028 to take up several new bills and a pending bill that would ban schools from selling sodas or sugary drinks to students. The agenda includes the following bills:
04.23.2013 — The Texas House and Senate have both passed their versions of the state appropriations bill and now the differences between those two versions must be resolved.
04.19.2013 — The House Appropriations Committee voted Thursday to send a supplemental budget bill to the House that includes $500 million more for public schools. House Bill 1025 (Pitts) will bring the total cost of the state's biennial budget to $874.9 million if it passes.
04.18.2013 — The House Committee on Public Education will meet Tuesday, April 23 upon final adjournment/recess of the full House to take up a variety of bills that include Patrick's SB 2 that increases the cap on the number of charter schools and shifts the responsibility of granting charters from the State Board of Education to the Commissioner.
04.12.2013 — The Senate Education committee has posted a public hearing to be held at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 16, in room E1.028 to discuss the following bills:
04.11.2013 — It is critical that you contact members of the Senate Education Committee and ask that HB 5 be voted out of committee as soon as possible, and without extraneous amendments.
04.10.2013 — The Senate Education committee has posted a public hearing to be held at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 11, in room E1.208 to discuss the following bills:
04.09.2013 — On Monday, the Senate State Affairs and House Pensions Committee heard testimony on significant proposed changes to TRS in SB 1458 by Sen. Duncan and HB 1884 by Rep. Callegari. While laying out the committee substitute, Sen. Duncan noted the importance of keeping the current defined benefit structure in place, ensuring the system is actuarially sound, and the need to give retirees a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).
04.08.2013 — Immediate Action Needed! Contact members of these committees (listed below) and urge them to oppose these bills that divert public money from public schools - either directly as voucher programs or indirectly via tax credits!
04.05.2013 — The House Committee on Public Education has another lengthy agenda scheduled for its April 9 public hearing, with 21 bills currently slated to be heard. Bills of interest include HB 2824 (Ratliff) relating to the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, and HB 2983 (Dutton), relating to the reauthorization of the Texas Education Agency.
04.05.2013 — The Senate Education Committee will meet Tuesday, April 9 at 8:30 a.m. in room E1.028 to take up several new and pending bills:
04.03.2013 — The Senate Education Committee will meet Thursday, April 4 at 8:30 a.m. in room E1.028 to take up several new and pending bills:
04.02.2013 — The House Public Education Committee will meet at 2 p.m. or upon final adjournment on April 2 in room E2.036 to discuss the following bills:
04.02.2013 — The Senate Education Committee will meet April 2 at 8:30 a.m. in room E1.028 to discuss the following bills:
03.27.2013 — The Senate Education Committee has scheduled a hearing that begins at 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 28. The committee will consider six new bills and take up three pending bills. Public testimony will be limited to two minutes per person.
03.27.2013 — Immediate Action Needed! The Texas Senate is scheduled to take up and consider two important bills (SB 3 and SB 1724) today that would make improvements to testing and graduation requirements. However, there is hesitation to debate these bills on the Senate floor. Please contact Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and your senator today urging them to take up and consider SB 3 and SB 1724.
03.27.2013 — Yesterday, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock laid out the Committee Substitute for HB 5 his omnibus bill covering graduation programs, assessment and accountability. He described the intent of the bill as maintaining rigor, reducing the emphasis on standardized testing, and providing more options for high school students.
03.25.2013 — On Wednesday, March 27, the Texas Senate will take up and consider two important bills that would make improvements to graduation plans (SB 3) and reduce state required assessments (SB 1724). Sen. Patrick is carrying both bills and has made assurances that he will roll the contents of SB 1724 into SB 3 on the Senate floor.
03.24.2013 — On Tuesday, March 26, HB 5 by Rep. Aycock will be debated on the House floor. HB 5 is much needed legislation that would make improvements to the current state graduation and assessment systems.
03.24.2013 — During yesterday's Senate Education Committee hearing, Chairman Patrick offered a substitute to SB 1724, his bill related to high school graduation requirements and end-of-course (EOC) exams. Although a hard copy of the substitute bill was not available on Tuesday, the following content was shared by Chairman Patrick and discussed by the committee.
03.24.2013 — On Tuesday, March 26, HB 5 by Rep. Aycock will be debated on the House floor. HB 5 is much needed legislation that would make improvements to the current state graduation and assessment systems.
03.24.2013 — During yesterday's Senate Education Committee hearing, Chairman Patrick offered a substitute to SB 1724, his bill related to high school graduation requirements and end-of-course (EOC) exams. Although a hard copy of the substitute bill was not available on Tuesday, the following content was shared by Chairman Patrick and discussed by the committee.
03.20.2013 — House Public Education Chair, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock's comprehensive bill relating to graduation programs, assessment and accountability is set on the calendar for the full House on Tuesday, March 26.
03.19.2013 — The House Public Education Committee will meet today at 2 p.m. or upon final adjournment of the House in room E2.036 to consider a variety of bills, ranging from wireless radio tracking of students to the elimination of physical fitness testing.
03.19.2013 — The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to meet today at 8:30 a.m. to consider action on four pending bills, including two of Sen. Patrick's bills—SB 2 relating to charter schools and SB 1724 which would modify the current testing and graduation requirements.
03.14.2013 — The House Public Education Committee will meet Tuesday, March 19, at 2 p.m. or upon final adjournment of the House in room E2.036 to consider the following bills:
03.14.2013 — The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, March 19, to consider action on four pending bills, including two of Sen. Patrick’s bills–SB 2 relating to charter schools and SB 1724 which would create one diploma plan (with endorsements) and amend the current testing requirements for graduation.
03.14.2013 — Both the House Appropriations and the Senate Finance Committees have now finalized their versions of the budget for the 2014-15 biennium.
03.04.2013 — In light of the recent push by Texas legislators, business leaders and the governor to move the Texas accountability rating system to an A–F grading scale, we have compiled several news articles and a research report from the Oklahoma Center for Education Policy on the A-F grading system.
03.01.2013 — The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday voted to add $1.5 billion in additional funding to the proposed $35.1 billion general budget for public education, including $40 million for pre-kindergarten programs, $20 million for the Virtual School Network and $4 million to support the Teach for America program.
03.01.2013 — The House Public Education Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday, March 5 in room E2.036 at 2 p.m. or upon final adjournment or recess of the House to discuss the following bills:
03.01.2013 — The Senate Education committee will meet Tuesday, March 5 at 8:30 a.m. in room E1.208 to take up a variety of bills that include: school choice for certain students with disabilities, school district grading policies, and several bills that relate to school counselors.
02.28.2013 — At the invitation of Chairman Dan Patrick, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush held the spotlight of invited testimony at Wednesday’s Senate Education hearing. During a discussion of reform efforts that began during his tenure as governor, Bush stressed that in order to have a successful policy, one must first fund the resources needed to implement the policy.
02.27.2013 — Chairman Aycock began the hearing by introducing his bill, HB 525. The bill would require TEA to collect data of military-connected students through PEIMS to ensure that these students are not counted as dropouts when they transfer between districts. This data would not be used in determining accountability ratings.
02.26.2013 — The House Public Education Committee is scheduled to meet today at 2 p.m. or upon final adjournment or recess of the House to discuss a variety of bills.
02.26.2013 — In lieu of its regular Tuesday committee hearing, the Senate Education Committee will meet Wednesday, Feb. 27 in the Senate Chamber to hear from invited testimony only about national best practices in education reform.
02.25.2013 — On March 1, automatic federal spending cuts, known as sequestration, will take effect unless Congress acts to stop them. Sequestration was averted in January, when lawmakers merely extended the deadline. Unless Congress acts by Friday, public education is slated to lose up to 5.9 percent in federal funds.
02.25.2013 — The House Public Education Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday, Feb. 26 in room E2.036 at 2 p.m. or upon final adjournment or recess of the House to discuss the following bills:
02.25.2013 — TASA and TASB have updated their comprehensive report on state laws and regulations that contribute to the rising costs of public education.
02.20.2013 — Chairman Patrick convened the Senate Education Committee on Tuesday to hear invited and public testimony on assessment issues and to take action on SB 3 (Patrick).
02.20.2013 — On Tuesday, the House Public Education Committee met to hear HB 5 (Aycock) and several other bills relating to graduation programs, assessment, and accountability. When Chairman Aycock laid out HB 5 before the committee, he expressed concern about the 100,000 plus 10th graders who are at-risk of failing to meet the current graduation and assessment requirements if the Texas Legislature fails to take action.
02.19.2013 — The Senate Education committee has posted a public hearing to be held at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, February 21, in room E1.208 to discuss the following bills:
02.19.2013 — The House Public Education Committee will meet today at 2 p.m. or upon final adjournment of the House to consider the following bills:
02.19.2013 — The Senate Education committee will meet today at 8:30 a.m. in room E1.208 to hear public (and possibly invited) testimony on assessments.
02.15.2013 — The House Public Education Committee will meet Tuesday, February 19, at 2 p.m. or upon final adjournment of the House in room E2.036 to consider the following bills:
02.13.2013 — Representatives from TASA and TASB's Governmental Relations department will be presenting at the first of several "Education and Workforce" conferences hosted by Rep. Todd Hunter. The first conference is being held at ESC Region 2 in Corpus Christi on Friday, Feb. 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
02.13.2013 — The Senate Education Committee met on Tuesday to hear SB 3 (Sen. Patrick) relating to changes in high school graduation programs and SB 172 (Sen. Carona) relating to the tools used for diagnosing the reading development and comprehension of kindergarten students.
02.13.2013 — The House Public Education Committee met Tuesday afternoon to hear invited testimony from Commissioner Michael Williams on education priorities and to receive updates on the school finance lawsuit, student assessment and accountability from Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff.
02.06.2013 — This morning Chairman Aycock released HB 5, a comprehensive bill that covers issues related to graduation requirements, student assessment, and accountability. In a signal of bipartisan support, every member of the House Public Education Committee signed onto HB 5 as a co-author.
02.05.2013 — Judge Dietz ruled from the bench yesterday that the current school finance system is unconstitutional. Dietz declared the system inadequate, inequitable and constitutes a state property tax. Judge Dietz declined to rule on the constitutional issues raised by TREE and charter schools. An appeal to the Texas Supreme Court is expected.
02.05.2013 — There have been numerous bills filed during the 83rd Legislative Session which are related to the topics of assessment, accountability, and graduation requirements. Some of these bills are comprehensive in nature and others are "single shot" bills addressing only one issue.
02.04.2013 — Judge Dietz ruled from the bench this afternoon that the current school finance system is unconstitutional. Declares the system inadequate, inequitable and is a state property tax.
02.01.2013 — The Senate Education Committee met on Thursday to discuss Senate Bill 135 and review the CSCOPE curriculum management system developed by the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative (TESCCC), a consortium composed of the 20 education service centers (ESCs) in the state.
01.31.2013 — Today, Speaker Straus announced House committee assignments for the 83rd Texas Legislature. "Throughout this process, I considered Members' individual expertise and strengths to address our state's challenges, and to ensure the House committees reflect the geographic and demographic diversity of Texas," Straus said. "These appointments will allow every Member of the Texas House to make a meaningful contribution to the serious work of this legislative session."
01.23.2013 — The legislative session has begun and the topic of vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, tax credits and other measures that would divert money away from public schools is being discussed throughout the capitol. Many legislators are claiming they haven't heard from their districts on these issues or that none of these proposals would impact their schools. Some legislators are under the impression that some proposals would not impact their schools.
01.23.2013 — The Senate Education Committee will hold a joint hearing with the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Rural Affairs and Homeland Security on Monday, Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. or 30 minutes upon adjournment of the Senate.
01.23.2013 — On Tuesday, Senator Kel Seliger (Amarillo) filed SB 225 that would alter both high school graduation programs and testing requirements.
01.22.2013 — The newly formed Senate Finance Committee didn't waste any time and has already scheduled its first public hearing for Wednesday, Jan. 23 at 9 a.m. to begin discussing Article III (public education) of the budget bill.
01.19.2013 — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst announced late Friday the Senate committee assignments for the 83rd Legislative Session. "During this session, we will be focused on balancing the budget without raising taxes, improving public education and increasing highway capacity and drinking water resources for our growing population. I know that our Senators are up to the challenge to keep Texas number one for decades to come," Dewhurst said in a press release.
01.17.2013 — Several school districts have contacted TASA requesting a sample resolution that opposes vouchers, taxpayer savings grants, tax credits, or any other provisions that would divert money away from public schools. A notice in TASA Daily was sent prior to the holidays announcing that a sample resolution was available for school districts.
01.16.2013 — Both the Senate and the House filed their budget bills late Tuesday as promised. Both budgets allow for enrollment growth in public schools at current funding levels and both promise to reverse the deferral of school district payments and return tax collections to their normal timing.
01.16.2013 — President Barack Obama today unveiled 23 executive orders that address gun violence in the wake of the Newtown school massacre last month. Obama signed the executive orders saying that he would strengthen background checks and expand safety programs in schools.
01.09.2013 — The School Land Board voted Tuesday to send $300 million, delivered in two $150 million installments, to the Available School Fund for public schools.
01.09.2013 — On the first day of the 83rd legislative session, House members re-elected San Antonio Republican Joe Straus to his third term as speaker. In the Senate, San Antonio Democrat Leticia Van de Putte was sworn in as Senate president pro tem, a role previously filled by Sen. Mike Jackson.
01.08.2013 — Comptroller Susan Combs released the biennial revenue estimate for 2014-15 today, indicating that the state will have $101.4 billion available for the next budget cycle.