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The Senate Education Committee will meet at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, April 27, to hear testimony on the following bills:

  • SB 165 (Campbell) relates to parental rights in public education and to audits of school district curricula by TEA. The bill allows parents to file a confidential grievance and requires that parents be given a physical copy of the grievance policy when they seek to file complaint. It also requires parental written consent before a social or psychological experiment may be conducted on their student. It also requires parental written consent before the district may provide visual materials that contain violence, profanity, illegal substance use, nudity, sexual content or written materials that contain sexual content or non-historical violence. This does not apply to textbooks utilized by the district. SB 165 requires that school districts provide written notification of a violation if the board of trustees or the commissioner of education determines there was a violation of a right guaranteed in Chapter 26 of the Education Code. This notification must be sent out within 30 days of the decision and provide the district’s solution to the problem. The bill also grants TEA authority to conduct curriculum audits to be conducted annually. The commissioner is to determine the parameters of the audits and the schools that will be audited each year. TEA will post a list of the schools found to be in violation of state and federal laws regarding curriculum. Written notice will also be provided to parents in a school district if the school district their student attends is non-compliant.
  • SB 2140 (Parker, et al.) is identical to HB 3928 (Toth), heard in the House Public Education Committee April 20 and voted out of committee the next day. SB 2140 provides that a school district may not delay an evaluation of a child suspected of having a disability because of the implementation of a variety of intervention processes. It also requires that a school district seek parental consent to conduct a full individual and initial evaluation (FIIE). The bill provides that if, as a result of dyslexia, a student needs any additional instruction not provided to students without dyslexia or additional instruction to access and progress in the general curriculum, then the ARD committee must: consider the student eligible for an individualized education plan (IEP) as a student with a disability. SB 2140 provides that districts must employ persons who may be a therapist, practitioner, specialist, or interventionist for students with dyslexia and related disorders. It amends current law relating to a student’s eligibility for special education services provided by a school district, including services for dyslexia and related disorders.
  • SB 2273 (Kolkhorst) requires the county sheriff of a county with a total population of less than 300,000 to conduct semiannual meetings with local first responders to discuss school safety issues. The bill requires the school safety meetings to review the coordinated law enforcement response to school violence incidents, chain of command planning, emergency radio interoperability, and other related topics. The items discussed in the school safety meetings are to be submitted in a report to the Texas School Safety Center and the report must be publicly available on the center’s website.
  • SB 2068 (Bettencourt) requires TEA to prepare information comparing institutions of higher education in Texas and post information on the agency’s website such as the cost of tuition and fees, median cost of room and board, median student loan debt, estimated monthly student loan payment, percentage of students who repay their loans in 10 years, and educational outcomes for students such as students returning after their first year, completion and graduation rates, and the percentage of students who completed programs who are employed in a related field after graduation. The bill also requires institutions of higher education to review the information related to an admitted student’s preferred credential or degree with the student before he or she enrolls in a particular credential or degree program.
  • SB 1148 (West) restricts the service of persons on the UIL’s State Executive Committee to no more than two consecutive terms.
  • SB 979 (Campbell) adds injuries from rhabdomyolysis to the list of safety training requirements for certain public school extracurricular activities. This bill was added to the agenda after the original hearing notice.   
  • SB 2422 (Creighton) relates to the confidentiality of student records held by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. It states that information regarding a current, former, or prospective applicant or student of an educational institution that is obtained, received, or held by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for the purpose of providing assistance with access to post-secondary education shall be considered confidential and excepted from disclosure as an “educational record.” This bill was added to the agenda after the original hearing notice.   

See the hearing posting.

Watch a live broadcast of the hearing on Thursday.