Texas House Public Education Committee hears testimony and votes on more Senate bills
School Finance Educator Preparation | Certification Texas Legislature Curriculum | Instruction Testing | Accountability
Date Posted: 5/04/2021 | Author: Andrea Chevalier
The Texas House Public Education Committee met Tuesday, May 4, to hear a couple of remaining House bills, plus its second round of Senate bills, and to vote on a few eligible Senate bills.
Here are the bills heard by the committee at its Tuesday meeting:
- House Bill (HB) 4064 by Meza (D-Irving) would add “harassment” to school district bullying prevention policies and procedures.
- Senate Bill (SB) 226 by Paxton (R-McKinney) would require instruction in virtual learning and to obtain a teaching certificate. The virtual learning portion of the educator preparation program curriculum would have to cover both synchronous and asynchronous virtual instruction.
- SB 347 by Paxton would subject school health advisory committee (SHAC) meetings to the Open Meetings Act and the Public Information Act.
- SB 462 by Lucio (D-Brownsville) is an ATPE-supported bill that would allow a school district to use its transportation allotment funds for delivering food and instructional materials to a student’s home.
- SB 797 by Hughes (R-Mineola) would require schools and institutions of higher education to openly display a durable poster or framed copy of the national motto “In God We Trust” if the item is donated or purchased using private donations and meets certain requirements.
- SB 1063 by Alvarado (D-Houston) would allow students to take a hybrid personal financial literacy and economics course to satisfy the economics credit required for graduation.
- SB 1522 by Taylor (R-Friendswood) would limit the education commissioner’s ability to adjust a district's average daily attendance (ADA) based on a calamity to one year beyond the semester in which the calamity first occurred. The adjustment may be divided between two consecutive school years.
The House Public Education Committee took the following votes on pending business at the Tuesday meeting:
- SB 29 by Perry (R-Lubbock) is a bill that would require public school students to participate in UIL activities and events as aligned with their sex assigned at birth. The House companion for the bill is HB 4042 by Hefner (R-Mt. Pleasant). After two failed committee amendments by Rep. González and Rep. Talarico, the committee's vote on the bill yielded 6 ayes (Allison, Bell, K., Buckley, King, K., Lozano, VanDeaver), 5 nays (Allen, Bernal, González, Meza, Talarico), and 1 present-not-voting (Dutton). Rep. Huberty was absent for the vote. Because SB 29 failed to earn favorable votes from a majority of the committee, the bill will not proceed.
- SB 179 by Lucio is an ATPE-supported bill that calls for school districts to adopt a policy requiring their school counselors to spend at least 80% of their time on counseling duties. The House companion for the bill is HB 589 by González, M. (D-Clint). The bill passed with one no vote from Rep. Keith Bell.
- SB 879 by Lucio would lower the age for enrollment in a dropout recovery charter school from 17 to 16 and change how dropout recovery schools are evaluated under the public school accountability system. The House companion for the bill is HB 998 by Dutton (D-Houston). The bill passed unanimously.
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