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The House Public Education Committee met briefly April 7 to vote out the following bills on which testimony was heard March 30 (except for CSHB 1942, which was heard Tuesday):

  • CSHB 3270 by Chair Harold Dutton (7-6 vote) would clarify statute to ensure the continued operations of the accountability system and the interventions process. It would require annual publication by TEA of years of unacceptable performance by each district or campus. Districts or campus could challenge that determination in the same process they may challenge annual accountability ratings. It also would replace retroactive application of the “not rated” status with a transition provision requiring the redetermination of years of unacceptable performance. It would accomplish the recalculation by counting all unacceptable performances since the last acceptable performance to ensure that past rating of “not rated” are not used to break consecutive years of unacceptable performance.
  • CSHB 1942 by Gary VanDeaver (13-0 vote) would create a collaborative multiple-agency Advisory Committee to inform needs, assessment, accountability and performance framework. It would build a regulatory framework that addresses the needs of adult learners who are taking care of families and working, unlike most traditional-age high school students; allow for a graduated approach to statewide expansion; add further clarification to components of the school model and create clear guidelines for assessment and performance.
  • HB 256 by Phillip Cortez (13-0 vote) would establish an employment policy that includes anti-bullying measures to address workplace bullying.
  • CSHB 332 by James Talarico (13-0 vote) would permit school districts and charters to fund social and emotional learning programs using SCE allotment funds, providing more flexibility to schools to continue funding the social-emotional needs of Texas students. It would replace the term “social-emotional learning” with the definition of social-emotional learning, which is defined as building skills related to managing emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships and making responsible decisions.
  • HB 1068 by Alma Allen (13-0 vote) would allow the use of personal leave to supplement unpaid holidays by public school employees.
  • CSHB 1133 by Travis Clardy (13-0 vote) would allow Rusk County to hold an election to revoke or continue the school equalization tax and give the people of Rusk County a voice in whether or not this tax continues to be implemented. CSHB 1133 brackets the bill to Rusk County.
  • HB 1468 by Keith Bell (12-1 vote) would allow school districts to develop their own virtual courses that can receive ADA funding from the state. It would: allow exemption of the remote learning courses from the 90% rule; require local remote learning to be synchronous; apply to open enrollment charter schools and permit districts and open enrollment charter schools to enter into an agreement.
  • HB 1496 by Gary VanDeaver (13-0 vote) would clarify that the reporting of the fees under a cooperative purchasing program apply only to those entities directly engaged in that agreement with the school district. Cooperatives could receive fees from vendors in their purchasing programs. These fees, however, are not incurred by school districts and therefore, should not apply. Only the fees paid directly by school districts would be included in the reporting requirements.
  • HB 3129 by Dan Huberty (7-6 vote) would strike the need for an interlocal agreement and make it easier for students to go to schools in districts of their choice by allowing them access to bus transportation.
  • HB 3346 by Terry Meza (13-0 vote) would require the commissioner to include an “indicator that accounts for improving student preparedness for success,” other than performance on assessments, similar to how the CCMR and Graduation Rates are used for high schools and school districts. The legislation would also require that the indicator and the STAAR test would be weighted equally.
  • HB 3557 by Ken King (13-0 vote) would grant parents the authority to determine whether their child should be retained or not. After meeting with the school district to discuss the student’s options, the school district would be required to abide by the parent’s wishes in regard to a student’s retention. HB 3557 would allow for a student to repeat pre-K and Kindergarten or enroll if they were eligible in the previous school year but never registered, and a student in first-12th grade would be able to repeat the grade the student was enrolled in the previous year. For students in high school, it would allow for a student to retake a specific course, repeat the entire grade, or both. There would be a one-time eligibility for retention for fourth-12th grade students and this would only apply for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • HB 3643 by Ken King (12-1 vote) would create the Texas Commission on Virtual Education to evaluate the current state of virtual education and provide the Legislature with recommendations on the delivery of and funding for virtual curriculum.