The House Committee on Public Education met on May 24, 2022, to hear invited and public testimony on a variety of subjects relating to the state of public education in Texas. Specifically, the Committee heard updates on the implementation of the following bills passed during the 87th and 86th Legislative Sessions: HB 1525 (87R), HB 3 (86R), HB 4545 (87R), SB 1365 (87R), and SB 1716 (87R). Furthermore, the Committee heard testimony on the effects of COVID-19 on K-12 learning loss, mental health, and chronic absenteeism.

 

This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.

 

First panel

Tim Regal and Julie Wayman, Texas Educational Agency

  • AWARE Texas, TEA was awarded two federal grants, TEA has also awarded grants to local districts in rural areas for mental health services
  • Safe and Supportive Schools Division created at TEA in 2020
  • TEA published the first statewide plan for mental health, aligned with Safe and Supportive Schools Program
  • HB 906 collaborative taskforce – charged with doing study on mental health services and make recommendations
  • Discipline in school data incomplete due to COVID-19, complete data coming this summer
  • Feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of suicide have dropped this past year, but still have drastic effects on students
  • School connectedness was a protective factor for students
  • Mental health staff numbers are continuing to increase, but still have a shortage of staff
  • Project REFORM continues to be well accessed by schools and districts
  • TEA launching school mental health database to identify mental health resources available to schools, live online database
  • Huberty – How many suicides of K-12 kids were reported the past few years?
    • HHS Commission and State Health Services have detailed data
  • Huberty – What specific recommendations do you have to increase the number of counselors, social workers, and phycologists?
    • Engage more with school districts to see what the main obstacles are to them, might be more than money
  • Bernal – Are academic counselors included in the statistic “counselor”? So, the physiologists and social workers are dealing with mental health services for students?
    • Yes, academic counselors are included; Professionals often team together to work together to help the student
  • Dutton – Are the school psychologists and social workers employed by the school?
    • Yes
  • Dutton – Is there anything in statute that would prohibit schools from contracting these services?
    • No, there are many districts that partner with outside services, but TEA does not track
  • Dutton – Is there any correlation between mental health of a student and lack of educational success/being in a failing school?
    • Yes, there is that shows how mental health can help one stay motivated and learn
  • Meza – Recounts incident in an Irving, TX high school where teachers were told to remove LGBTQ pride stickers from their classrooms and that teachers are not counselors; What is TEA’s view on this? Are teacher’s counselors?
    • Teachers should be in tune with their students and strong teachers should be aware of the mental health status of their students; Teachers need to find the right balance where learning can happen, but mental health services should be provided by professionals
  • Meza – Is sexual orientation required to be reported to parents by a teacher?
    • Beyond the scope of my expertise, teachers are trained to value every student before them

 

David Lakey, University of Texas System

Laura Williams, Baylor College of Medicine, Medical Director at TCHATT

  • Gives overview of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, whose goal is to collaborate between Texas healthcare systems to improve mental health of children
  • Texas Child Health Access Through Telemedicine (TCHATT) – main goals
    • Direct telehealth consulting to students
    • Education and training materials to school staff
    • Develop data system to improve system as a whole
  • Currently has over 2 million students in TCHATT (40% of student body in Texas)
  • TCHATT is a collaborate effort, partner with support centers and school districts
  • TCHATT offers a confidential space at the school, but still requires parental consent always
  • Information is not provided to the school unless asked for permission
  • Dutton – Is TCHATT an emergency service?
    • No; if the parent/school makes a referral with parental consent, can get the service
  • TCHATT does assessments initially, often the first time a child sees a mental health professional; TCHATT keeps track of the children and helps coordinate services
  • Lots of coordination between LMHAs, other providers
  • Dutton – Do you ever provide medication?
    • At times we do
  • Dutton – You don’t provide medications
    • After the assessment & if parent provides consent, then we can provide this care
  • Care is split 1/3rds between elementary, middle, high school
  • Huberty – Program is two years old, have seen 6.9k, has ramped up recently; do you collaborate with TEA on the new data tool? Did you see their presentation earlier today?
    • Lakey – We work very closely with TEA, they have TCHATT resources available on their website
  • Huberty – How do you let people know about this information? Quality info but the issue is getting it into the right hands
  • Huberty – 5.4m children in public ed, what is the timeline on rolling this out statewide
    • Ramping this up as quickly as we can, have gone from 0 to 2m kids covered in 2 years
    • Challenges include HRI recruiting
    • ARPA dollars will allow expansion to 500k more kids, will be reaching out to schools to see who is ready & able
  • Huberty – asked TEA how they were coordinating this within higher ed?
    • State institutions are ramping up these services independent of the mental health care consortium; consortium institutions are the HRIs
    • We are working with them on novel ways to address care; there are issues to addressing certain health care issues due to the way consortium is written specific to children’s mental health, but collaborating with many institutions to bring telehealth mental health care
    • Trying to work with community members on outreach, using social media, local contacts, other orgs to share info on free service
    • Williams – Echoes importance of cross-collaboration, some ISDs have different processes
    • Hoping to connect CPAN and TCHATT together as the programs grow
    • Lakey – Have a seat on the coordinating council so hoping to utilize this as well
  • Allison – Is your resource included in the mental health data we heard about earlier?
    • Williams – Yes
    • Lakey – Share info with TEA so they have full visibility of the work we’re doing
  • TCHATT keeps track of referral reasons, vast majority are depression and anxiety
  • Williams highlights trends in mental health care, children seen by TCHATT
  • Allison – 75% of the referrals are anxiety and depression, if they peak during STARR testing that’s a lot of pressure on students
    • Williams – What is initially reported is anxiety or depression, then additional issues may be discovered in the assessment
  • Allison – But this is over 70%
    • Anxiety is the most common mental health issue, depression is a close follow-up
  • Allison – And anxiety leads to depression, also had COVID, etc. will be interesting to see these trends when we get passed this
  • Williams notes TCHATT interventions are primarily psychosocial services family-oriented; following data to see what results
  • TCHATT has referred young people out after services to LMHAs, therapists, etc.; collaborate with families to locate services
  • Getting good responses from parents and students on benefit of TCHATT for mental health and wellness
  • ARPA dollars are going to 500k more students, expanding regions and mental health services, received letter to allow use in March 2022, have been planning since last year, incl. perinatal psychiatric access across state
  • Also trying to set up a substance use component of TCHATT, have seen a significant increase over COVID; also looking to add more face-to-face interventions
  • Dutton – Did you find any relationships between regions and access to services?
    • Lakey – there are differences in different regions, part of why it is important to get together and share lessons learned
    • Some regions also have issues hiring staff and providers
  • Dutton – On scale of 1 to 10, where would you rate mental health of TX students?
    • Hard question to answer, differs in regions, many institutions are trying to do more
    • Started TCHATT recently and hoping to see positive changes
  • Dutton – Anything that we should be doing differently?
    • Should provide continued support for the consortium
  • Allison – In my area takes forever to see a psychologist or child psychiatrist in particular, have increased funding for medical schools, increased residency slots, etc.; what else can we do?
    • Won’t ever have all the specialists we need in the state, need to equip PCPs and this is why CPAN is helpful
    • Need to increase training opportunities
    • Williams – Baylor was able to expand training program with consortium funds, echo things Dr. Lakey has shared
  • Bernal – What is the average salary for a school social worker or school psychologist?
    • Can find this out
  • Bernal – Part of charge is to create incentive for these specialists to come to schools

 

Hani Talebi, Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute

  • Provides overview of Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute & mental health issues in children; mental health is a pediatric illness that tends to begin early in life
  • Need to talk more about universal screening, early detection, and early treatment
  • Youth rates of self-harm, suicide have increased over recent decades, suicide rates reached historic highs in 2018 and remained high
  • COVID pandemic led to dramatic increases in youth mental health needs, anxiety and depression have increased over 3 times
  • Meadows has supported mental health efforts in a variety of schools around the state, 1k schools in 9 ESCs
  • Have heard of increased issues from students, more burden on staff, incl. absences, turnover
  • Schools are in every community, can help overcome access to care barriers
  • COVID helped reduce stigma around mental health care, but exacerbated mental health issues, workforce issues
  • Meadows has a program focused on partnerships with parents, community providers, needs funding and support
  • TCHATT is a game changer, altered landscape of mental health care
  • Shares anecdotes about positive interactions with TCHATT, students and parents both appreciate services offered
  • Highlights San Antonio Mobile Mental Wellness Collaborative is a great example of reducing barriers to treatment; covers large number of students in San Antonio area
  • ESSER funding could assist with expanding mental health services, many districts are suing these to increase mental health literacy and support teacher mental health
  • Approach could include utilizing the SHARS program, FL, LA, and others have amended state plan to extend services to all Medicaid enrolled students, TX could do something similar
  • Coming years will be very telling in how we address mental health challenges
  • Dutton – One of the best practices is early identification; does a student voluntarily access program, teacher recommends, parents reach out?
    • All of these things, children can self-refer, teachers or parents can reach out, peers can identify
    • Creating that mental health literacy on a campus allows for better and streamlined referral process
  • Dutton – We’re placing more burden on teachers who may not have proper training to make assessments; should the committee be attempting to help with this?
    • Talking about reorientation about how to address mental health issues, rather than hide issues, should talk about them as everyone feels this in some form
  • Bell – You talk about ESSER funds being able to be used for mental health, many of the uses are one-time funds, but impacts outlast these; need to talk about costs, when ESSER funds are gone, this becomes an unfunded mandate unless we do something from appropriations standpoint
  • Bell – Haven’t heard data on rural v. urban care, need to discuss how to best be efficient in providing services, will run out of money to cover these expanded services; concern about unfunded mandates
  • Bernal – Would be helpful to know scale; highlights average salaries of licensed school psychologist, counselors, and social workers
    • Salary is a huge part of it, creating systems that honor employees working in them
    • Have seen some with ample salaries still leave due to burnout
    • Salaries, scalability, etc. should be considered by the committee; could explore Medicaid reimbursements for things we’re already paying for, other things can make a difference

 

Dr. Angelica Ramsey, Midland ISD

  • Speaking on Midland ISD partnership with Meadows, Meadows has supported Midland ISD over the last 24 months to implement district plan for MTSS
  • Highlights MTSS process, monitoring students, providing counseling sessions, etc.
  • Have used telehealth in partnership with Texas Tech for counseling
  • 3 tiers, incl. universal supports, targeted services, intense interventions and supports; often with intensive care need help of outside partners
  • Approach is looking at behavioral and academic needs of students, have engaged in coaching with Meadows
  • Midland ISD is focused on preventing behavior, not punishing behavior; looking at hotspots and providing appropriate counseling

 

Next panel

Bonnie Contreras, PresenceLearning

  • Provides overview of PresenceLearning structure and operations, provides teletherapy services for synchronous access between clinician and student
  • 3m children have been diagnosed with serious mental or behavioral health issues, 80% rely on schools for services and COVID shut downs left many without resources
  • Working with Tomball ISD

 

Dr. Ann Lê, Tomball ISD

  • Tomball ISD noticed increase in issues, focusing on restorative actions to get to root of student issues
  • Even with increasing student population, new mental health initiatives led to drastic decreased in behavioral problems and increases in student mental health
  • Worked on workforce training and student supports in social/emotional learning, high-quality instruction, etc.; worked into strategic plan for 2025 and staff accountability
  • Huberty – You offer services and telehealth as well? New program?
    • Yes
  • Huberty – Supplement to what you’ve already done?
    • Yes
  • Huberty – How many students receive the services?
    • For wraparound, 3,684 referrals this year

 

Jill Adams, Texas School Counselor Association, Lewisville ISD

  • Burden on students & staff is increasing, school counselors are exhausted, staff is struggling with mental health as well
  • Highlights Texas Model, focuses on classroom guidance, responsive services, & systems & support; even with recent legislation, counselors and teachers are still needing to fill multiple roles
  • TX should support mental health by adopting Texas Model, adopt repayment programs, define counselor duties
  • TSCA and TCA appreciate focus on learning loss, but until we’re able to address mental health needs cannot effectively address these issues
  • Gonzalez – 179 oversight is critically important, do like that you highlight that telemedicine cannot exit alone
  • Gonzalez – We’re talking about teacher shortage all the time; anything else we need to know about counselor shortage?
    • Important not to compartmentalize, can’t put counseling, learning loss, mental health, teacher shortage, funding, etc. in separate boxes; all these issues are connected
    • When students aren’t ready to learn, affects classroom behavior, which leads to burnout and fatigue, which leads to mental health not being seen as effective
    • Need to not silo and make sure academic resources are coordinated with mental health needs, everyone needs to be a part of the discussion
  • Gonzalez – Policy is usually one-subject, but support in thinking this through would be helpful
  • Bernal – If we adopt as many of these recommendations as possible, would we then meet the requirements of the TEA framework? Would they not be able to address this without doing these recommendations?
    • If Texas model is allowed to be implemented so that counselor framework, role, and training is comprehensive, then you will have desired outcomes
    • Cannot succeed with counselors being used in large number of other duties, cannot be the hub between parents, teachers, community, etc. if they aren’t focused on it
  • Bernal – Using Texas framework as a north star would be good?
    • Would be helpful, counselors are trained on how to use the framework in a school settings
  • Huberty – Concerned over what do we need to do to get the data points we need? Would love to see data over next several months on compliance; leads to 375:1 ratio that needs to be 250 & what we need to do to get there
  • Gonzalez – 179 if enforced and applied could be transformative
  • Meza – Pandemic has been difficult on mental health for teachers, where do they go for counseling?
    • Difficult question, mental health staff has also been stepping in to support staff
    • Not sure there is anything at a state level beyond HR, FMLA, etc.
  • Meza – Asks after HR portion
    • FMLA does speak to those mental health pieces and supporting employees, there are specific laws related to that & we’re providing the crisis response
    • Need to ensure we’re supporting the whole teacher as well, this includes connecting them with appropriate resources & making sure HR is in the loop

 

Shannon Hoffman, The Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

  • Want to emphasize learning is connected to mental health
  • Should make sure all students are connected regardless of zip code, collaboration with parents and care givers is vital
  • Recommends: Allow schools to enroll as Medicaid providers, dedicate some of safety allotment to only be used for mental health, etc

 

Next panel

Brande Bass, New Caney ISD

  • Discusses COVID impacts to mental health
  • Encourage educators to have suicide prevention every two years, increase mental health funding, and expand language in HB 1525 to include mental health
  • Funding could be addressed by dedicating portion of the safety allotment
  • Several recommendations including addressing stigma of mental health
  • Points need to address ratios of counselors to students

 

Bryan Mares, Texas National Association for Social Workers

  • Discussed vital role of social workers on campus

 

Melissa Beckette, Parent

  • Not thrilled with what she is seeing where schools are trying to be mental health providers
  • Shouldn’t parents have 100% ability to opt in
  • Need to bring families back into it instead of pushing parents out
  • Teacher should identify issue and call parent instead of school moving forward with evaluation without notifying parents
  • She had handouts from another district in Coppell ISD where students are being evaluated as green, yellow and red
  • Concern about collection of data
  • Children being encouraged to withhold things from parents
  • Tells committee that parents from Coppell ISD were not notified
  • Chair Dutton and witness dialogue about parent involvement during assessment process
  • Concern of turning kids into widgets, not nurturing kids and turning teachers into facilitators
  • Not truly addressing problem because kids are not learning

 

Jennifer Fleck, Parent

  • Echoes previous witness, Constitution states public education system is meant to educate, public schools shouldn’t be involved in mental health at all
  • Parents have more numerous stories about how mental health services are failing students
  • Teachers are leaving in droves because they are asked to do too much, providing mental health services, tutoring, etc.; going to break the system
  • System is being abused, students are evaluated, surveyed, and assessed & data is being sold
  • Dutton – What information is being sold?
    • I want to know that
    • A lot of experts in the building, why are they here?
    • Implying data on students is being sold
  • Dutton – Do you have evidence to indicate this?
    • When you don’t know an answer to a question, the answer is usually money
  • Dutton – Sometimes the motive is something other than money
    • Maybe, sometimes

 

Abigail Biza, Teacher

  • Speaking on eliminating barriers to providing mental health services
  • Highlights experience of trying to assist student in dealing with trauma, but frustrated with lack of support & inability to meet the needs of the student led to burn out
  • Opportunities exist for teachers to receive direct training and support
  • Dutton – So one of the things we should do is ensure teachers are trained?
    • By mental health professionals

 

Sharon Lowe, Moms for Liberty

  • Every invited witness had a business goal, words used today were used to hide purpose from parents similar to CRT and SEL
  • Mental health and emotional development are not the same, students not emotionally ready are being labeled with mental health issues
  • Sounds like decisions have already been made, should be listening to parents
  • Dutton – Do you believe there is a mental health crisis at all in schools?
    • I believe we have an environment in schools where teachers undermine parent/child relationships
    • Have a lot of chaos with shifting from zero tolerance to reformative processes
  • Dutton – What school district are you in?
    • Arlington ISD
    • All the schools in my area data mine

 

Aileen Blakowsky, Self

  • Echoes what was said before about parent’s concerns around mental health
  • Majority of students are not experiencing anxiety or persistent sadness, should look at this
  • Left California and thought Texas would be safe, but Texas schools let down their defenses
  • Have heard conversations of increasing funding for SEL, should look at Max Eden study showing no academic benefit

 

Marcy Gally, Parent/Children attended Aledo ISD

  • Testifying against mental health services being provided in a public school, children are resilient and able to overcome situations better than adults
  • SB 11 meant schools had to become hyperaware of threat assessments and mental health
  • In Lewisville ISD, students are asked to select emojis matching mood; too many wrong emojis leads to CPS being called
  • Still under emergency orders from the Gov that legislature has not acted on
  • Wraparound services need to be in different facilities, not in schools
  • Highlights issues with “Character Strong”, parents did not approve of these programs and schools shouldn’t be using these
  • All of these initiatives are lot more work for teachers

 

Stackey B. Stinger, Parent Moms for Liberty Travis County

  • Concerned of impact to kids and parents being included in process

Cindy Nahara, Parent Moms for Liberty  

  • Feels like partnership turning everyday issues with children into depression, gender concerns
  • Parents need to be able to help children navigate
  • It is a money and power grab for content creators
  • Suicide rates have gone up since these programs have been implemented in other states
  • Enrollment is down due to transgender and other similar issues

Parent

  • See decades of manipulated legislation to fuel a multi-billion dollar eco-system
  • School nurses are not licensed to be counselors and teachers must now respond to survey’s

Nikki Valouri, NAMI

  • Student who has been undiagnosed and suggests removing barriers
  • End the stigma, 1 in 5 children suffer from mental illness
  • Wishes she had a mental health education class

Carrie Griffith, Texas State Teachers Association

  • Schools in unique position to support mental wellness
  • Texas ranks #41 in areas of training, ratios and funding
  • 1 counselor to 500 students while ratio is 1 to 250, personnel is needed
  • Texas was sufficient in teacher training but says more can be done

Jasmine Pedraza, Mom in RRISD

  • Personal story of her experience with a special needs child
  • Concern that COVID policy was an excuse to keep parents out of schools
  • Also has data concerns and protecting right to privacy and data security

Lee Spiller, Citizen Commission on Human Rights Texas

  • Mental health services has no place in the classroom, no excuse to violate privacy
  • Does not support direct treatment in the classroom
  • Consent forms to assess students is actually the consent for IT
  • Austin ISD wanted to do a one minute interview with all students, said parent consent not required since tier 1 service

Larry Buhem, Self  

  • Diagnoses in school for his niece was used as a crutch to not get things done
  • Please reconsider having teachers and counselors giving mental health assessments

Lori Black, Self

  • Texas is responsible to protect parent rights and a real estate agent
  • Notes many of her customers have fled government overreach in other states and cautions the state on overreach

Jessica Zilker, Lake Travis ISD

  • Left California six years ago because of mental health practices in the schools

Dr. Raymond Falcon, TVTF Representative and Teach Plus

  • Want to prevent student gun violence
  • Lost 9 students in his school and 14 district wide to gun violence, provides more examples
  • Recommends funds to hire personnel and SROs
  • Discusses SRO experience and ability to help assist with conflict resolution

Amanda Afifi, Texas Association of School Psychologists

  • Two recommendations: amend Ch 501 of Occupation Code and modernize title of those practicing in the school (example of LSSP – school psychologist) & amended Texas Education Code and allow repayment of loans for those working as school mental health professional

Panel 1

Mike Morath, Texas Education Agency Commissioner

  • Moment of silence for Uvalde shooting
  • Went quickly through provided slides on HB 3, major changes in HB 1525
  • TIA running, 386 systems in some process getting running with TIA
    • Process takes 12-24 months
  • Noted increase in students receiving dyslexia services
  • Reading academies update and as new teachers enter workforce they will be required to go through this on a go forward basis
    • K-3 teachers and principals primarily
    • Findings are that academies have impacts
    • Notes several things have been done to address concerns
  • Property tax compression under HB 3 – state and local share is more balanced
  • Gonzalez – asked about cost of compression?
    • Does not know off the top of his head, points to slide 21
  • Gonzalez – HB 3 increases state share and wants to know percentage for next session
    • Will be providing that in the LAR
    • Leo Lopez, TEA – Cost of compression has been about $9.5 billion, thinks it will increase in same scale as past
  • Gonzalez – important to say they are continually addressing property tax relief
  • Lopez – the cost of compression may go up but believes the cost is sustainable
  • Gonzalez – is maintaining funding for HB 3 an LAR component
    • Yes, the base ask is what is needed to sustain current law under HB 3
  • Huberty – TIA compliance, Huberty would like some anecdotal information based on regional service centers
    • 387 in the pipeline, so about 500 districts participating
    • Huberty – not sure why more are not participating
  • Gonzalez – asked about a graph that shows an increase in basic allotment and all the things that would be impacted as a result
  • Bernal – asked about recapture in the graph
  • Huberty – districts taking advantage of golden pennies
    • Will get list to committee of those who are using their full 8 pennies
    • Lopez – notes about 200 districts at maximum rate
  • Huberty – asked about if something should be looked at for increasing the floor
  • Morath discusses how districts can qualify for CCMR outcome bonus, says tangible impact on campuses because of this bonus
  • Huberty and Morath worked out the testimony on accountability, will be up in a bit
  • Dutton – can number of children in charter schools impact recapture?
    • If a bunch of kids leave a district, it causes them to be in recapture
    • It’s not necessarily charter, but when enrollment shifts
    • Clarifies that charters don’t have a tax base
    • Dutton asked if this system creates a tension between public school and charter school
  • VanDeaver – have we done enough to help with reading academies
    • Still have some tools at disposal in case they need to make more adjustments
  • VanDeaver – asked about TEA language saying academies “must be” embedded
    • “should” would be a better word, its an expectation that they have

Morath takes up additional charges such as learning loss, HB 4545

  • Slide 2 has high level picture of student outcomes
  • HB 1525 provided $21.4 billion in new funding
  • Slide 9 shows wide participation of the state in Tclass
  • Notes provided a quick overview of supports
  • $17.9 billion in school systems (ESSER $$) was in the $21.4 billion bucket
    • Some of the funding was used for hold harmless offset
    • $15.1 billion was net new money and $4 billion has been spent to date
  • Next chart provides how formula funds are being used
  • Points to references of challenges to make up for loss time and learning loss
  • Planning supports pay real dividends
  • Dutton – asked how long does it take a child to recover?
    • No known answer, they did study and it took 4 years for reading and never happened for math
  • Bernal – asked about bilingual population
    • Part of a larger strategic response, need strong core instruction as well as policy to support
    • TEA has developed resources for Dual Language
  • HB 4545 made three substantive changes
    • Definition of accelerated instruction, no more student based high stake testing in grades 3-8, and established a Strong Foundational grant
  • Passage of HB 4545 had formula guarantee, $74 million has been spent on tutoring
  • Districts could use the build it your own approach, use pre-approved providers list, or they could have used vetted Texas Tutor Corps
  • 294 school systems used grants to provide tutoring support
  • A key lesson with HB 4545 is there is planning required, if districts have enough time and bandwidth to organize a dedicated time block then it was easier for them to implement
  • Without dedicated time blocks they needed supplemental staff
  • HB 4545 also removed test based grade retention & retesting requirements which is a shift in policy
  • HB 4545 established a Strong Foundation grant, $75 million a year approximately
  • Right to access tutoring if below grade level, but notes there are 4 tests in 9th so question is if the tutoring should be concentrated in math and reading, etc
  • Huberty – asked about HB 4545 such as phase in and area of variability, and curious about how district is paying teachers for doing the tutoring
    • Small number of districts have been doing this for some time, some districts are using only supplemental staff for tutoring and have recognized it will be virtual tutoring
    • Broader challenge is asking what core teachers are being asked to do
  • King – is funding still sustainable after federal funding
    • Supplemental instruction definition ceases to apply, not required once federal funds expire
    • Districts still need to provide accelerated instruction
  • Meza – noted TEA FAQs are helpful, wanted to note about parents opting out
    • Considerations will be to clarify how parents can opt out, legislature could make a clearer policy position on when or how to opt out
  • Meza – what happens when federal dollars run out?
  • King – is there a place for HB 4545 to fit into virtual policy?
    • Small rural school system
    • Will send information to them so they can hopefully connect dots to make the best policy
  • VanDeaver – there is confusion on parent opt out piece and appreciate hearing this is needed clarity in the law on that
  • VanDeaver – schedule from TEA embeds time in the school day, how can they keep adding to day with so much that is important but wants to know how to balance
    • Very important operational challenges exist
    • Instructional design decisions, being more thoughtful systematically is important
    • Has seen examples on some campuses where this is done
  • Challenge is appropriate minimum quality for all kids
  • Bell – is there an opportunity for flexibility on 30 hours?
    • Would encourage them to focus on reading and math
  • Discussion was increase of comp ed funding in HB 3

Morath takes up SB 1365

  • A lot of legal changes were made in accountability
  • A-F ratings are coming back, there are specific exemptions
  • Both D and F require some degree of improvement and D generally adds two years to the chain
  • Standard is C or better is where we want everyone
  • D rating discussion – statute clarified that D is need improvement and C breaks chain of intervention
  • Legislation is tied to A-F system, don’t want to update every year but do need to update periodically
  • Update process will be in effect when A-F back, baselines will be done this year and likely that proficiency is lower and cut points may go down
  • TEA usually raises the bar but need to set reasonable goals, Morath notes they are early into reset process and it is process the cut points may go down
  • Points out they are still getting feedback
  • King – goal was to allow districts to develop own accountability, and knows it has been a struggle and wants to know if agency is still working on that
    • Working on supports, statute said it needs to be a valid and reliable system
    • Example is parent survey does not work, such as just putting it online
    • Need districts to pass measurements of accountability in order to choose this path
  • King- any closer to developing something we can all agree on?
    • Task force will give a report in December on viability of extracurricular
    • Example “20% of score on extracurricular participation”
    • It may be worth investing in technical assistance resources for districts to go through this process
  • Aug 2022-2023 when rules rolled out, pre-suppose rules coming out and in December-February he will discuss with Superintendents and then going to rule after that and most likely impact in Spring of 2023
  • Bell and Morath discuss on timing of rules, Morath says would recommend not passing major accountability overhauls but notes lawmakers are good about giving feedback

 

Dutton notes it has been an unusual day, remarks on Uvalde shooting and it’s a day to be with families

Adjourns committee meeting