Senate Education Committee advances school safety legislation
Texas Legislature Deregulation | Charter Schools School Safety Educator Compensation | Benefits Testing | Accountability
Date Posted: 5/17/2023 | Author: Mark Wiggins
The Senate Education Committee held an impromptu meeting Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to vote on a handful of bills, including the omnibus school safety legislation shepherded by Sen. Robert Nichols (R–Jacksonville).
The committee advanced House Bill (HB) 3 by Rep. Dustin Burrows (R–Lubbock), which combines aspects of three pieces of legislation: Burrows’ original bill version of HB 3, HB 13 by Rep. Ken King (R–Canadian), and Senate Bill (SB) 11 by Sen. Nichols.
The committee also advanced HB 1707 by Rep. Stephanie Klick (R–Fort Worth), which failed a committee vote last Thursday, May 11, 2023. ATPE opposed this bill, which would inappropriately force municipalities to treat charter schools the same as school districts for the purposes of zoning and other local regulations, despite the fact that charter schools do not have locally elected governing boards, nor do they have to seek voter approval on bonds. Sen. Royce West (D–Dallas) moved to reconsider the vote by which HB 1707 failed last week, allowing the committee to take another vote and pass the bill.
The Senate Education Committee reconvened Wednesday morning, May 17, 2023, to hear testimony on several House bills. You can view the full agenda here. ATPE registered positions on the following bills:
- HB 1883 by Rep. Salman Bhojani (D–Euless), which would allow a district or charter to consider religious holy days in determining when to administer STAAR. ATPE supported this bill.
- HB 1211 by Rep. Ryan Guillen (R–Rio Grande City), which would expand eligibility for school loan repayment to licensed specialists in school psychology and other mental health professionals who are employed by a district or charter that receives Title I funding or is located in a mental health care professional shortage area. ATPE supported this bill.
- HB 1905 by Rep. James Talarico (D–Pflugerville), which would allow a school district to make school safety training courses available at no cost, including active shooter training courses, to employees of accredited private schools or childcare facilities within the district. ATPE supported this bill.
- HB 2102 by Rep. Craig Goldman (R–Fort Worth), which would extend approval and notice for a new charter school campus from 18 months to 36 months before opening. No action was taken in the House. ATPE opposed this bill.
The committee is scheduled to meet again Thursday, May 18, 2023.
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