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Senate Education Committee Votes Out House Bills May 14

05.14.2019 — The Senate Education Committee voted out the following bills approved by the House on May 14 that will now go to the full Senate for consideration:

  • HB 165 (Bernal) would allow a student enrolled in a special education program to earn an endorsement on the student's transcript if the student successfully completed, with or without modification: the curriculum requirements for the foundation high school program identified by the SBOE; and the additional endorsement curriculum requirements listed in Education Code sec. 28.025(c-2).

  • HB 330 (VanDeaver, et al.) would add to the list of students excluded when calculating a public school's dropout and completion rates students who could not go to school because they suffered a condition, injury, or illness that required substantial medical care.

  • HB 391 (Blanco, et al.) would require a school district or open-enrollment charter school to provide instructional materials in printed book format to students who did not have reliable access to technology at home and whose parents made a request to allow the student to take home instructional materials. A district or charter school would be required to document each denied parental request, including the reason the request was denied, and submit it to TEA no later than 30 days after the request was received. TEA would report annually to the Legislature the number of and reasons for the denials.

  • HB 396 (VanDeaver) HB 396 would include freight, shipping, and insurance expenses associated with obtaining instructional materials and technology to be paid from funds from the Instructional Materials and Technology allotment. Current law permits these expenses to pay for only intrastate freight and shipping. HB 396 would also allow use of the allotment to purchase inventory software or systems for storing and accessing instructional materials.

  • HB 455 (Allen, et al.) would require TEA to develop model policies on the recess period during the school day that encouraged constructive, age-appropriate outdoor playtime. The model policies would have to include guidelines for outdoor equipment and facilities on public school campuses that maximized the effectiveness of outdoor physical activity. TEA would develop the policies by January 1, 2020. The bill also would require the board of trustees of each school district to adopt a recess policy based on TEA's model policies by May 1, 2020. The board would be required to review and, if necessary, revise the policy at least every five years. The recess policy would have to specify the required number of minutes of weekly unstructured playtime and whether a student's recess time could be withheld as a form of student discipline.

  • HB 678 (Guillen) would allow a student to earn one foreign language credit toward high school graduation requirements by completing a course in American Sign Language at an elementary school.

  • HB 963 (Cecil Bell, et al.) would require the SBOE to review the essential knowledge and skills of the career and technology and technology applications curriculums. The board would have to amend its rules to consolidate the technology applications courses for grades 9 through 12 with the career and technical education courses and eliminate duplicative courses while ensuring certifications were aligned with the rigor of each individual course. The review and rules amendments would have to be completed by March 1, 2020.

  • HB 1026 (Bohac, et al.) would require the SBOE to integrate positive character traits into the TEKS adopted for kindergarten through the 12th grade, as appropriate. Each school district and open-enrollment charter school would be required to adopt a character education program that included the positive character traits the SBOE integrated into TEKS. Each school district and open- enrollment charter school would have to submit the adopted program to TEA annually.

  • HB 1244 (Ashby) would replace the U.S. History EOC exam with a civics EOC exam as a graduation requirement for the foundation school program diploma (also included in the accountability system). The civics test would have to contain questions on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization test and would have to be presented in a multiple-choice format. Students would have to answer at least 70 percent of the questions correctly to pass. The bill also creates rulemaking authority that would require the test to be administered electronically. The bill would not allow a school to restrict when a student takes the test by grade level, or limit the number of times a student can take the test to perform satisfactorily on the exam.

  • HB 1480 (VanDeaver, et al.), as voted out of the Senate Education Committee, would require school district boards of trustees to adopt a policy regarding the establishment of an accelerated learning committee for each student who does not perform satisfactorily on the third-grade math or reading assessment. The bill eliminates the requirement that fifth- and eighth-grade students must pass the STAAR to advance to the next grade and also eliminates the grade placement committees. The bill requires the commissioner to determine a “master’s grade level of performance" for students taking advanced level substitute assessments, and requires the commissioner to adopt the STAAR testing schedule with input from school districts. Read the substitute bill.

  • HB 2190 (Hunter) would allow an open-enrollment charter school with an enrollment greater than 200 students located in a county with a population of less than 400,000 that contains a municipality with a population of at least 300,000 to may admit a child of an employee of the school as provided by this section regardless of whether the child resides in the geographic area served by the school.

  • HB 2424 (Ashby) would require the SBEC to propose rules establishing a program to issue micro-credentials in fields of study related to an educator's certification class. In addition, SBEC would propose rules to establish a process for identifying continuing education courses and programs that included opportunities for educators to receive micro-credentials in such fields. TEA would be required to approve continuing education providers to offer micro-credential courses. When an educator received a credential, TEA would be required to record it on the Educator Certification Online System and to include it as a part of the educator's public certification records.

  • HB 2984 (Allison, et al.) would require the SBOE to adopt TEKS for the state technology applications curriculum that included coding, computer programming, computational thinking, and cybersecurity for students in kindergarten through 8th grade. The SBOE would have to review and revise the technology applications TEKS every five years to ensure the curriculum was relevant to student education and aligned with current or emerging professions. The first review and revision of the technology applications curriculum would have to be completed by December 31, 2020.

  • HB 3007 (Chris Turner, et al.) would require TEA to provide each school district with a copy of all the source data submitted to the agency by an entity other than the district that the agency considered when determining the district's accreditation status and the performance ratings for the district's campuses.