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The Senate Education Committee will meet at 9 a.m., Thursday, May 6, to hear testimony on the following bills. Two have already been passed by the full House:

HB 690 Metcalf SP: Zaffirini
As filed, HB 690 requires a school board member to complete training on school safety. The State Board of Education will establish the requirement and will coordinate with the Texas School Safety Center to develop the curriculum and materials for the training.

HB 1496 VanDeaver SP: Lucio
The 80th Legislature passed HB 273, which intended to provide transparency to public money spent on fees to purchasing cooperatives. The law mainly applies to school districts, and requires the reporting of fees on any contract with a purchasing cooperative in excess of $25,000. However, the law was not clear on exactly which fees should be reported, leading to widespread confusion over the extent of the requirement. HB 1496 clarifies the intent of the law by specifying that the reporting requirement applies only to fees paid by school districts. HB 1496 amends current law relating to requiring school districts to report management fees under certain cooperative purchasing contracts.

SB 491 Paxton
Would authorize equal opportunity for access by home-schooled students to University Interscholastic League sponsored activities; authorizes a fee.

SB 1968 Bettencourt | et al.
Would establish the Family Educational Relief Program and an insurance premium tax credit for contributions made for purposes of that program.

SB 2094 Taylor
SB 2094, as filed, would require school districts to establish an accelerated learning committee for every student who does not perform satisfactorily on the math or reading assessment instruments administered in third, fifth, and eighth grades. An accelerated learning committee must create an educational plan for the student that provides the necessary accelerated instruction prior to the start of the subsequent school year. The plan must be documented in writing and provided to the student’s parent or guardian. A process must be developed by the school district that permits a parent or guardian to contest the content or implementation of the educational plan developed for their student. Additionally, the district must either provide accelerated instruction to the student in the applicable subject during eat summer or school year or they must assign the student to a classroom teacher who has been certified as a “master, exemplary or recognized” teacher for the subsequent school year in the appropriate subject area. The bill establishes minimum requirements for accelerated instruction. In situations where there is more than one teacher available who can provide appropriate accelerated instruction, the student’s parent or guardian would be permitted to choose which teacher will provide the applicable instruction to the student. If the student fails to perform on an assessment the following school year, the superintendent or their designee must meet with the student’s accelerated learning committee to identify the reason the student did not perform satisfactorily and determine whether the educational plan must be modified as well as any additional resources that should be provided for the student. The bill also takes certain authority away from the SBOE and gives it to the commissioner, including giving the commissioner the authority to adopt rules for testing accommodations for dyslexic students; giving the commissioner authority to provide alternate testing dates for migrant children; would have the commissioner be
responsible for ensuring the security of assessment instruments, etc.

Watch the hearing.