The House Committee on Public Education has released its interim report to the 87th Legislature. Recommendations cover a review of legislation implementation, digital learning, special Education, and agency review. For more information please see the full report here.
Spotlight on Recommendations
Interim Charge #1 – Monitor Legislation
- The Committee should continue to monitor the TEA implementation of House Bill 3 provisions regarding public school finance and public education.
- The Committee should explore options for making the rulemaking process more efficient and should clarify the division of authority over the process.
- The Committee should further examine the impact of salary increases that districts have provided to staff and analyze data-informed best practices adopted to differentiate these increases.
- TEA should analyze best practices from districts and offer multiple compensation plan options for use by LEAs that do not have the capacity or desire to develop their own version.
- The Committee should continue to consider certain CCMR indicators, in order to ensure small and rural LEAs are not put on unequal footing with LEAs that have the resources needed to offer a wider range of opportunities for their students.
- The Committee should work with the TEA to determine the efficacy of developing a local teacher designation system pursuant to House Bill 3’s Teacher Incentive Allotment.
- TEA should prioritize, and complete as soon as possible, the remaining rules pertaining to House Bill 3, including, but not limited to, the College, Career, and Military readiness outcomes bonus, Blended Learning grant programs, instructional arrangements for special education, Gifted and Talented programs, and the financial aid application requirement for high school graduation.
House Bill 1842 (84R), House Bill 22 (85R), Senate Bill 1882 (85R), House Bill 3906 (86R)
- The Committee should continue to monitor TEA’s implementation of all House Bill 22 provisions.
- TEA shall review the indicators required in House Bill 22 for the consideration of appropriate revisions.
- The Committee should continue to assess the ongoing progress and efficacy of the TEA’s implementation of the A-F rating system.
- The Committee should monitor and assess the ongoing progress of the TEA’s rulemaking authority over the A-F rating system.
- The Committee should continue to monitor the ongoing progress of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR).
- The Committee should continue to monitor the ongoing progress and efficacy of public school sanctions and interventions.
- The Committee should continue to work with TEA and stakeholders to explore options to alleviate the timing issues that exist regarding the accountability system and rulemaking.
- The Committee, regarding the TEA’s implementation of the A-F rating system, should explore clarification of the impact of a “D” rating, including the intersection with other accountability references, and the transition process regarding previous “D” ratings.
Senate Bill 1873 (85R)
- The Committee should work with the TEA and school districts to determine what steps are necessary to maximize the efficiency of health and safety data collection.
- The Committee should review the report on physical education prepared by the TEA and determine what, if any, next steps are needed based on the data collections.
House Bill 18 (86R), House Bill 19 (86R), House Bill 906 (86R), Senate Bill 11 (86R)
- The Committee should monitor the process by which state agencies coordinate to implement House Bill 18 and House Bill 19, and their compliance with various requirements, including providing required guidelines and resources to schools.
- The Committee should monitor the implementation of House Bill 906, which creates the Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Services.
- The Committee should monitor the creation of the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium, created by Senate Bill 11, and all agencies’ rulemaking processes. The Committee should review how school districts are spending their school safety allotment.
Interim Charge #2 – Digital Learning
- The Committee should explore all Federal funding options for internet connectivity and digital learning.
- The Committee should, pending the FCC broadband mapping effort, identify the geographic areas where broadband is not readily available and explore creating targeted policies to fill gaps in service.
- The Committee should explore future technologies such as 5G mobile, wireless broadband, and satellite broadband.
- The Committee should work with the TEA to explore the best options for investment and deployment of Internet Service Providers.
- The Committee should explore utilization of the current federal Lifeline subsidy program which assists in making communications services more affordable for low-income consumers.
- The Committee should explore all options regarding a potential statewide broadband plan, and should consider requesting that Governor Abbott consider making the adoption of a statewide broadband plan an emergency item for consideration by the 87th Legislature.
Interim Charge #3 – Special Education
- The Committee should continue to monitor the progress of the TEA’s compliance with the Corrective Action Response required by the United States Department of Education.
- The Committee should continue to monitor the implementation of the state’s Special Education Strategic Plan, and the state’s compliance with other federal requirements regarding special education, including maintenance of state financial support for special education.
- The Committee should, using input from the public and information provided by the TEA, investigate and recommend solutions to barriers that the agency, school districts, students with disabilities, and parents face in accessing a free and appropriate public education.
- The Committee should ensure that the state is meeting the milestones of the plan and provide any measures needed at the state level to ensure that students with disabilities are being located, fully evaluated, and appropriately identified for special education instruction and services.
Interim Charge #4 – Agency Review
- The Committee should continue to monitor the State Auditor’s review of agencies and programs under the Committee’s jurisdiction.
- The Committee should continue to seek input and periodic briefings on completed audits for the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years and bring forth pertinent issues for full committee consideration.