The House Public Education Committee held a formal meeting at Chair Harold Dutton’s desk May 19 and voted out the following Senate bills already passed by the full Senate:
- SB 123 by Sen. Nathan Johnson (11-0 vote) incorporates social and emotional learning competencies into an existing character traits instruction program in TEKS for K-12.
- CSSB 279 by Sen. Juan Hinojosa, companion to HB 1014 by Rep. John Bucy, (11-0 vote) requires school ID cards for students grade 6 or higher to include the contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Crisis Text Line, and the contact for a local suicide prevention hotline if available. The bill clarifies that these requirements would apply to student ID cards issued on or after the effective date.
- SB 801 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (11-0 vote) requires TEA in coordination in with the Texas Department of Agriculture and nonprofits with expertise in agriculture education, to develop agriculture education programs for elementary students. Also requires TEA to develop a list of agriculture education programs that may be used by elementary schools and requires the list to be available to schools at no cost to school districts and charter schools.
- SB 1095 by Sen. Brandon Creighton (11-0 vote) requires school boards to notify their students and parents of internship, externship, and apprenticeship opportunities in the area. Additionally, students and parents must be made aware of assistance programs for fees for college advanced placement tests or international baccalaureate examinations.
- CSSB 2050 by Sen. Jose Menendez (11-0 vote) ensures that any student who bullies another student is removed from class if the student’s actions are found to encourage suicide or harm the student. Additionally, the principal of a public primary or secondary school shall make a report to any school district police department if, after an investigation is completed, the principal has reasonable grounds to believe that a student engaged in conduct that constitutes an offense. Lastly, each school district shall establish district-wide policy to prevent and mediate bullying incidents between students. CSHB 2050 removes the annual training requirement for bullying for school personnel and students.
- SB 1109 by Sen. Royce West (11-0 vote) provides for educational instruction pertaining to the prevention of child abuse, family violence, and dating violence as part of the essential knowledge and skills requirements to satisfy the health curriculum requirements. Also requires students to be exposed to this educational instruction a minimum of one time between middle school and junior high and a minimum of two times in high school.
- SB 1171 by Chair Larry Taylor, companion to HB 3261 by Rep. Dan Huberty, (11-0 vote) creates a grant program to assist districts in the transition to online testing, adds infrastructure, bandwidth, and equipment to allowable uses of the technology and instructional materials allotment, grants the TEA commissioner waiver authority and clarifies the limit of allowable multiple choice questions.
- SB 1351 by Sen. Borris Miles, companion to HB 2756 by Rep. Alma Allen, (11-0 vote) clarifies who can facilitate a food donation distribution and the health and safety standards of the donated food. Authorizes public schools to allow a campus to donate food to a nonprofit organization through a parent of a student enrolled at a campus, or a person who is directly and officially affiliated with the campus.
- SB 2081 by Sen. Jose Menendez, companion to HB 41 by Rep. James Talarico, (11-0 vote) limits a prekindergarten classroom to no more than 22 kids and no more than 11 students for each teacher or aide in a classroom with more than 15 students. Changes were made to the ratio language in the bill, but a copy of the bill as it was voted out of committee was not available when this alert was sent.