The Senate Education Committee is scheduled to meet for a second time this week at 9 a.m., Thursday, April 22, to hear testimony on the following bills:
SB 168 Blanco
Would establish active shooter drill requirements for school districts that choose to implement such drills. Per SB 168, policies adopted by school districts must: prohibit active shooter drills from simulating actual shootings; provide adequate notice to parents including the date and the content of the drill; require an announcement to faculty and students that a drill is about to start; establish age appropriate standards for content that are developed by a team including teachers, mental health professional, law enforcement officers, and others and that also incorporate trauma-informed practices to address the well being of students participating in the drill; and provide for tracking data regarding efficacy and impact of active shooter drills conducted by the district (including any symptoms of indicators of trauma among student participants). SB 168 also requires open-enrollment charter schools who conduct active shooter drills to adhere to the same requirements.
SB 194 Powell
Would require TEA to include students who successfully completed a program of study in career and technical education as a performance indicator when evaluating the performance of high school campuses and districts that include high school campuses, beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
SB 348 Kolkhorst | et al.
Would grant parents authority under law to observe virtual instruction and review any teaching or instructional materials, or other teaching aids provided to the parent’s child while the child is participating in virtual or remote learning.
SB 534 Hughes
Would extend immunity from liability to school districts, open-enrollment charter schools and private schools for certain actions of their “security personnel.” For the purposes of the bill, “security personnel” include: school district peace officers; school marshals; school resource officers; and certain retired peace officers who have been hired by the school district or who volunteer to provide security to the district.
SB 1082 Campbell
Would permit parents to review any curriculum materials used in human sexuality instruction provided to students and would also allow a parent to request that any instructional materials used in teaching human sexuality be sent home with the student upon parent request. Additionally, parents must be notified of their right to review curriculum materials. Finally, the bill would repeal the requirement that schools make all curriculum materials used for human sexuality instruction available for reasonable public inspection.
SB 1444 Taylor
Would authorize the TRS to establish a regional rating method for determining premiums charged in different regions of the state for the benefits provided under a plan of group coverage established under the program. The bill would permit risk pools established under Chapter 172, Local Government Code with school district members to participate in the Texas School Employees Uniform Group Health Coverage. School districts and risk pools may elect not to participate in the program, notwithstanding any previous election or requirement to participate.
SB 1526 Perry
Would require any entity that operates a website, online service, online application, or mobile application used primarily for school purposes to use the unique identifier established by the Texas Student Data System. Allows school districts, charter schools, regional ESCs or another local educational agency to require operators to adhere to a state-approved student data sharing agreement that requires the use of unique identifiers .National assessment providers are exempted from the requirements of using a unique identifier if the provider receives covered information solely to provide access to such things as employment, educational scholarships, financial aid, or educational resources for middle school through high school students.
SB 1527 Perry
Would establish the Rural Schools and Communities Technical Assistance Center. The goal of the center is to assist small and rural school districts with implementation of the Collegiate Edu-Nation System Model in cooperation with TEA and to expand broadband internet development in rural communities. The center’s role is to facilitate alignment between TEA, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Workforce Commission. The commissioner of TEA is to select a nonprofit organization to serve as the center and to support school districts that are awarded a planning or implementation grant. Planning and implementation grants will be awarded annual to rural or small school districts. The bill also establishes expected/required outcomes for grant recipients. Districts that do not achieve expected outcomes will be assisted in developing and implementing an intervention plan to support the district in achieving the outcomes. Each school district that receives a planning and implementation grant is required to work closely with state agencies to assist in expanding access, adoption and use of broadband in rural areas to benefit educational opportunities and economic development.