May 24: House Public Education Committee
The House Public Education Committee will meet at 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 24, to hear invited and public testimony over the following interim charges:
- Monitor the agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 87th Legislature. Conduct active oversight of all associated rulemaking and other governmental actions taken to ensure the intended legislative outcome of all legislation, including the following:
- HB 1525 and HB 3(86R), relating to public school finance and public education;
- HB 4545, relating to assessment of public school students and providing accelerated instruction;
- SB 1365, relating to public school organization, accountability, and fiscal management; and
- SB 1716, relating to supplemental special education services and instructional materials for certain public school students.
- Study the effects of COVID-19 on K-12 learning loss and best practices that exist to address learning loss. Monitor the implementation of state and local plans to address students’ achievement gaps. Make recommendations for supporting the state and local efforts to increase academic development.
- Examine the impact of COVID-19 on students’ mental health, including the availability and workload of mental health professionals across the state and their role in the public school system. Make recommendations to reduce or eliminate existing barriers to providing mental health services in a traditional classroom setting or through teletherapy.
- Examine the causes and contributors for chronic absenteeism in public schools and its impact on student outcomes. Consider techniques and approaches that have been utilized by public schools to identify students who are chronically absent and return these students to classrooms.
Electronic public comments will be available for:
- Implementation of HB 1525 and HB 3(86th)
- Implementation of HB 4545
- Implementation of SB 1365
- Implementation of SB 1716
- The effects of COVID-19 on K-12 learning loss.
- Examine the impact of COVID-19 on students’ mental health.
- Examine the causes and contributors for chronic absenteeism.
May 23: Senate Committee on Finance (On May 12, this meeting was postponed to May 23.)
The Senate Committee on Finance will meet Monday, May 23, at 10 a.m. in room E1.036 of the Capitol extension to hear invited and public testimony. Topics of interest to TASA members include:
- Property Tax Relief: Examine and recommend ways to reduce Texans’ property tax burden. Review and report on proposals to use or dedicate state revenues in excess of the state spending limit to eliminate the school district maintenance and operations property tax; and
- Tax Exemptions: Examine Texans’ current tax exemptions and report on whether adjustments are merited because of inflation or any other factors.
May 24: Senate Education Committee
The Senate Education Committee will meet Tuesday, May 24, at 9 a.m. to hear invited and public testimony on the following interim charges:
- COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Educator Talent Pipeline: Examine the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the public school educator talent pipeline, staffing patterns and practices, and declining student enrollment and attendance. Review any policies and regulatory actions that prevent students from receiving instruction from a highly effective teacher. Monitor the impact of both the Teacher Incentive Allotment and non-administrator compensation increases directed under House Bill 3 (86th Legislature), as well as the teacher pay raises implemented in 2019. Explore innovative models to improve recruitment and make recommendations to maintain a strong educator workforce pipeline, while adapting resilient school strategies to meet emergent demands in public education.
- Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Education passed by the 87th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:
- House Bill 3 (86th Legislature), relating to public school finance and public education;
- House Bill 1525 (87th Legislature), Relating to the public school finance system and public education; and
- House Bill 4545 (87th Legislature), Relating to the assessment of public school students, the establishment of a strong foundations grant program, and providing accelerated instruction for students who fail to achieve satisfactory performance on certain assessment instruments.
- Bond Efficiency: Conduct a comprehensive review of the school district bond issuance process. Specifically, review public notice and disclosure requirements, the bond election process, procurement requirements, and how unused bond proceeds may be utilized. Study the best practices implemented by school boards and make recommendations to improve bond issuance efficiencies.
- Homestead Exemption: Study the use and effect of the optional homestead exemption available to independent school districts. Examine and report on costs to the state if school districts receive incentives to increase the optional percentage exemption.
June 28: Senate Finance Committee
The Senate Finance Committee will meet Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 10 a.m. to hear invited and public testimony on the following interim charges:
- Federal Funds: Report on the state use of federal COVID-19 relief funds provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, the American Rescue Plan Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Acts, and similar federal legislation. Examine local use of federal relief funding, including funding provided to school districts through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. Evaluate the overall fiscal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on state agencies, including costs incurred due to federal mandates. Identify barriers to the effective utilization of funds and make recommendations on the expenditure of unappropriated funds. In addition, evaluate and report on the spending by state agencies that have been utilizing “one-time” federal funding (temporary enhancements, e.g. FMAP and ESSER) sources, where federal funding will likely be significantly reduced in future biennia.
- Mental Health Delivery: Examine the state mental health service delivery system. Study the state’s Comprehensive Plan for State-Funded Inpatient Mental Health Services and the Statewide Behavioral Health Strategic Plan and evaluate the existing state investments in mental health services and state hospital capacity. Review current forensic and civil mental health service waitlists, and recommend ways to improve coordination and outcomes to reduce waitlists. Explore and report on options for additional mental health service capacity, including building state hospitals in the Panhandle and Rio Grande Valley areas.