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HB 1525 by Rep. Dan Huberty finally passed both chambers. What started out as a “cleanup” bill from the passage of HB 3 in 2019 ended up becoming a 64-page bill covering school finance and other public education matters. The bill is now on its way to the governor’s desk. Highlights from the bill as finally passed include:

  • Adds the small and mid-sized adjustment to the basic allotment for calculating CTE funding.
  • Makes changes to CTE weights: 1.1 for courses not in an approved program of study; 1.28 for courses in an approved program of study determined by TEA; and 1.47 for courses in level 3 and 4.
  • Re-establishes the GT allotment eliminated by HB 3 in 2019. Only 5% of a district’s students in ADA are eligible for this funding and the weight is set at 0.07. Total funding for this program is capped at $100 million.
  • Caps Formula Transition Grant funding to $400 million per year.
  • Creates a weighted tiered funding system for the Fast Growth Allotment, which can’t exceed $270 million for the 2021-22 school year, $310 million for the 2022-23 school year, and $315 million for the 2023-24 school year. This allotment is limited to those districts with enrollment growth in excess of 250 students for the preceding six school years. Districts receiving the allotment for 2019-20 school year but that didn’t qualify for the 2021-22 funding will receive a portion of the 2019-20 allotment in 2022.
  • Establishes a commission on special education funding that will develop and make recommendations on methods of financing special education in public schools.
  • Allows districts to use compensatory education funds for instructional coaches, attendance officers, and other purposes.
  • Extends grants to school districts for autism and dyslexia to 2023.
  • Allows districts to use TIMA funds for costs associated with distance learning including wi-fi, hotspots, wireless network service, broadband service, and other services and technological equipment necessary to facilitate internet access.
  • Adds uncertified teachers to those who can receive the teacher incentive allotment.
  • Extends the deadline for completion of the reading academies by one year to 2022-23.
  • Creates “Resource Campuses” for low-performing campuses that receive multiple F ratings.  Campuses that receive this designation from TEA qualify for additional funding.
  • Requires the commissioner to adjust FIRST ratings to account for the impact of financial practices necessary to respond to COVID.
  • Provides that districts who swap M&O pennies over to I&S to draw down additional state aid to assist in paying off debt after the effective date of this bill can have FSP fund withheld by TEA.
  • Requires school districts to continue salary increases provided for in HB 3 in 2019 as long as the district continues to receive the same amount of money it received in 2019-20.
  • Requires the commissioner to come back the following year and get any recapture money TEA failed to collect from a district the agency failed to notify being subject to recapture.
  • Requires school districts to accept donations from a PTO designated to fund supplemental educational staff at a particular campus and to use those funds for the designated purpose and within the time period specified. This section of the code expires September 1, 2025.
  • Requires school districts to follow TEA guidance in soliciting partnerships for expanding pre-K.
  • Requires SHAC meetings to have minutes of the meetings that state the subject and content of each deliberation and each vote, order, decision, or other action taken during the meeting. There must also be an audio or video recording of the meeting. Both the minutes and the audio or video recording must be posted on the school district’s website. Requires parents give written consent prior to a student receiving human sexuality instruction.

The bill as finally passed DID NOT INCLUDE:

  • The requirement that districts “reserve” 40% of ESSER III funds until the 2024-25 school year and supplant with local funds.
  • Outcomes-based funding tied to STAAR results.

A more detailed analysis will be provided in TASA’s Bill Summary document that TASA Governmental Relations staff produce after each legislative session. See HB 1525 as finally passed.