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Senate Education committee approves grading policy and other bills

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Date Posted: 3/12/2013 | Author: Jennifer Mitchell, CAE

The Senate Education committee, which is meeting today, is currently in recess while the full Senate is in session. The committee will reconvene this afternoon to discuss a new testing-related bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1724, filed by committee Chairman Sen. Dan Patrick (R–Houston). Earlier this morning, the committee took votes on six bills previously heard. The first bill approved unanimously was SB 132 by Sen. Jane Nelson (R–Flower Mound), which clarifies the law giving teachers discretion to assign grades. ATPE strongly supported the bill, which is consistent with ATPE's member-approved ATPE Legislative Program. Also unanimously approved:

  • SB 172 by Sen. John Carona (R–Dallas), dealing with diagnostic instruments for reading comprehension among kindergarten students. ATPE supported the bill.
  • SB 401 by Sen. Eddie Lucio (D–Brownsville), which requires notification to parents if a counselor is not assigned to a public school campus. ATPE supported the bill.
  • SB 715 by Lucio, which cleans up the Texas Education Code's references to school counselors for the sake of consistency. ATPE supported the bill.
Two additional bills were approved by a vote of 6 to 2:
  • SB 521 by Sen. Ken Paxton (R–McKinney), which places restrictions on sex education instruction.
  • SB 573 by Patrick, which permits private schools to join the University Interscholastic League (UIL) for all competitions except football and basketball. ATPE opposes this bill, as it is contrary to our Legislative Program.
These six bills are eligible now for consideration by the full Senate. The four unanimously approved bills have been recommended for the "local and uncontested calendar," which typically means that a bill's progress will be expedited. The other two bills facing opposition will have to be brought up for debate by a two-thirds vote and subject to the normal Senate floor procedures.


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