The Senate Education Committee held a formal meeting May 10 during which they voted out the following bills, sending them to the full Senate for consideration:
- HB 773 by Rep. Gary VanDeaver. As filed, the bill would require TEA to include students who successfully completed a program of study in CTE 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 487 by Sen. Bryan Hughes. As filed, the bill would require a municipality to consider an open-enrollment charter school a school district for purposes of zoning, permitting, code compliance, and development. School district land development standards would apply to open-enrollment charter schools as well. SB 487 also prohibits a municipality, county, or political subdivision from enacting or enforcing an order, ordinance, regulation, resolution, rule, or policy that prohibits an open-enrollment charter school from operating at any location within the municipality, county, or political subdivision. Charter schools are not required to pay impact fees unless payment of the fees is part of a contractual agreement.
- HB 699 by Rep. Jon Rosenthal would require school districts to excuse the absence of a student that results from a serious or life-threatening illness or related treatment. The student’s parent or guardian must provide certification from a physician specifying the student’s illness and the anticipated period the student will be absent related to the illness or treatment. HB 699 would also require a school district to offer additional counseling and prohibit them from referring a student to truancy court if their absence is a result of severe or life-threatening illness or related treatment. HB 699 prohibits a school from denying promotion to a student if it is determined that failure to meet the requirements for advancement or to perform satisfactorily on an assessment was primarily due to circumstances resulting from serious or life threatening illness or related treatment.
- SB 2094 by Chair Larry Taylor. As substituted, it would: remove grade promotion requirements tied to STAAR tests for grades 5 and 8; establish accelerated learning committees and instruction for students who do not perform satisfactorily on standardized tests in grades 3, 5, and 8 or on end-of-course exams; create accelerated learning and outcomes bonus; repeal the requirement that schools administer state exams to students after failing an exam; prohibit a school from pulling a student from recess for accelerated instruction; provide that students in grades 4, 6, and 9 who do not perform satisfactorily must be placed in a classroom with a certified teacher the following year. The substitute removes provisions granting the commissioner additional authority over assessments that was included in the original bill.