Pre-filing of legislation for 2015 has begun
Date Posted: 11/10/2014 | Author: Jennifer Mitchell, CAE
Today was the first day members of the 84th Texas Legislature could begin pre-filing bills for the upcoming regular legislative session. The opening day of the session is still more than two months away, but several pieces of education-related legislation have already been filed:
- Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D) filed a number of school-related bills today. They include measures pertaining to class-size limits, teachers' employment rights, preventing harassment and discrimination in schools, sex education, and testing of students with limited English proficiency and disabilities.
- Rep. Mando Martinez (D) has proposed period TRS cost-of-living increases for retirees, a state minimum salary schedule for educators that is tied to a national average, and an increase in the state's residential homestead exemption for those who pay property taxes.
- Rep. James White (R) filed several truancy-related bills.
- Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D) filed legislation to provide for free pre-kindergarten programs in public schools to study the cost-of-education index.
- Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D) also filed legislation to make pre-kindergarten programs more widely available.
- A bill by Rep. Dan Flynn (R) would allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in classrooms.
- Rep. Carol Alvarado (D) filed a bill to extend the 22:1 class-size limit into fifth grade and another bill requiring the collection of data pertaining to class sizes and assessments administered in pre-kindergarten programs.
- A bill filed by Rep. Cecil Bell (R) today would remove endorsement information from students' high school diplomas, leaving it on their transcripts.
- Rep. Tony Dale (R) is putting forth requirements for censuring a member of a school district board of trustees in certain circumstances.
- On the Senate side, Sen. John Whitmire (D) filed a couple of truancy and student discipline-related bills today.
- Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D) filed bills relating to keeping anaphylaxis medication on hand for emergencies at school campuses and allowing students to transfer between public school districts.
- Sens. Zaffirini (D) and Rodney Ellis (D) both filed legislation to expand pre-kindergarten. Sen. Ellis also filed a bill to limit pre-kindergarten class sizes.
- Additionally, other bills by Sen. Ellis would modify sex education statutes and place the elected State Board of Education (SBOE) under periodic sunset review.
- Sen. Chuy Hinojosa (D) proposes a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes and vapor products at school.
- Sen. Charles Schwertner (R) wants to expand mental health first aid training for educators to include additional school staff.
- A bill by Sen. Kel Seliger (R) proposes the establishment of individual graduation committees for certain students who fail the state assessments multiple times.
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