This report overs the responses Public Education received for their RFI on Charge 1 regarding implementation of relevant legislation from the 86th session. The RFI can for this charge can be found here and a complete list of respondents can be found here.


The HillCo report below is a summary of information intended to give you an overview and highlight of the various topics included in the responses. This report does not cover the entirety of each response but aims to provide an overview of the testimony submitted.


Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney, Aldine ISD

  • Funding from HB 3 is essential to serve their student population; 90% of which are economically disadvantaged
  • HB 3 provided funding in the following strategic areas:
  • Comp Ed Allotment strengthens PreK-12 literacy programs and social and emotional learning; crucial to minimize learning gaps especially post COVID-19
  • Early Ed Allotment offers full day PreK and Kindergarten; want to establish department in this area to create 5-year roadmap to expand enrollment and educational opportunities
  • CT Allotment supports acquisition of professional degrees/knowledge
  • CCMR Bonus add courses, increase access to IB, add potential engineering programs; working with UT to increase dual-enrollment programs


Aldine ISD, Garland ISD, Grand Prairie ISD, Hays CISD, Hutto ISD, Lockhart ISD, & Mesquite ISD

  • Advancements during the 86th include full-day PreK, providing increased dyslexia/dual language programming, and identifying methods to improve postsecondary handoffs
  • Cannot afford to change course from progress made by 86th legislative session
  • Compensatory education funding gives school systems access to additional funding directly tied to equity
  • Early Literacy Allotment created a new funding stream for low-income and English language-learning students; emphasizing reading proficiency
  • Commends achievements of high performing administrators and teachers, especially low income and special education students under the CCMR Bonus
  • Teacher Incentive Allotment: have also used resources to identify which teachers best accompany which demographics
  • Recommends legislature fund half days for Additional Days School Year and needs to sustain funding of HB 3


Justin Artis

  • Is the Dean of Uplift Hampton; is slated as a Mastery Teacher through HB 3’s Teacher Incentive Allotment Program
  • Discusses importance of TIA and paying teachers more so that they are encouraged to stay in the profession
  • Underscores importance of black male teachers; recent study found they significantly increase the chances that low-income black students graduate high school and consider attending college


Scott Beene, Anderson-Shiro CISD

  • Has been implementing a form of teacher incentive pay since 2012; participate in the federal TIF whose program is currently on hold with the USDE
  • Teacher Incentive Allotment will be essential in recruiting teachers to rural schools across Texas
  • Need to ensure full funding of the TIA next session


Association of Texas Professional Educators 1[A]

  • Should enact policies that enhance prestige and pay associated with being a teacher
  • Teachers are already working over the 40-hour work week; COVID has increased working hours per week by 13 hours
  • Describes educator compensation changes under HB 3 and how they were enacted in different areas
  • Supports HB 3 base payment for educators that are competitive with private industries
  • Supports differentiated pay programs that offer educators extra compensation for extra work or acceptance of a more challenging/high-need position
  • Approve of the term “compensation;” gives more leeway in how the funds are distributed
  • Recommends the Legislature maintain educator salary increases under HB 3 and distributes funds as permanent wages
  • Concerned that TIA is too reliant on student test results and teacher evaluations designed to give teachers feedback to hone their craft; financial incentives could dilute this process
  • TIA offers no specific funding to the teacher who earned the merit award, only the district
  • Supports additional compensation for teachers who have done additional work in challenging or high-need areas
  • TIA has many potential pitfalls, recommends halting implementation until school district budgets have stabilized


Association of Texas Professional Educators 1[B]

  • STAAR testing, and other high stakes testing, has been a significant concern for members
  • Texas attaches more high stakes to testing than designated by federal law
  • Suggests foregoing STAAR and TELPAS testing for 2020-2021 to avoid unfair punishment of students, teachers, and schools due to COVID-19 inequities and difficulties in education
  • DOI has facilitated flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, can also lead to exemptions from laws that are not actually conducive to innovation
  • HB 5 and HB 22 created and tweaked the rating of A-F public schools; harmful to students and educator recruitment efforts; serves as means to increase voucher legislation
  • HB 22 moved from 5 to 3 domains; approve of this system, works to create categories such as Student Achievement, School Progress, and Closing the Gaps and draws distinctions between “D” and “F” grades
  • High poverty schools more likely to be F rated
  • Students should be taught by educators certified for the grades they teach
  • ATPE supports 3906: requirements that make testing smarter; many have not been actually implemented
  • Individual Graduation Committees designed to look at whole student after one of them fails a class; urges permanence of this bill
  • SB 1882’s rulemaking has minimized ISD’s authority
  • SB 1882 only serves to transition schools from local control to privately managed charter operations; serves as a takeover district


Association of Texas Professional Educators 1[C-F]

  • Underscores importance of mental health facilities and resources for students and educators
  • HB 18, HB 19, SB 11, and HB 906 have provided much-needed mental health infrastructure during this time
  • Recommends using these programs as a base to build off of and continue to expand
  • HB 18 emphasized mental health issues through curricular changes, HB 19 allocated $2.3 million dollars to place 20 non-physician mental health professionals at state’s resource centers
  • Should increase funding and personnel trainings to programs like these above
  • SB 11 for mental health and school safety allotted $100 million; funding can go towards counselors, average of 422 students per counselor currently
  • HB 906 created the Collaborative Task Force on Public School Mental Health Service; part is studying the impacts on suicide rates; teachers should be included in this


Dana Harris, Austin Chamber

  • Goal to achieve 60x30TX education and workforce goals
  • Texans without postsecondary education have become increasingly vulnerable to COVID-19
  • Approves of Abbott’s Tri-Agency alignment between the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Texas Workforce Commission, and the Texas Education Agency
  • Requests maintaining investment and avoiding cuts or delays that for the following programs:
  • CCMR, reimbursements for standardized testing, expansion of programs that yield professional degrees, implementation of FAFSA graduation requirement, full day pre-K with literacy requirements, expansion of CTE, early education for subsidized lunch kids and incentive for dual language enrollment, and continued relief for school districts impacted by recapture


Bay Area Houston Education Partnership

  • Dickinson ISD and Friendswood ISD: Recommend delaying implementation of TIA; cannot assess performance with accuracy due to COVID-19
  • Dickinson ISD and Friendswood ISD: Recommends continuing to offer funds to maintain salary increases from year-to-year
  • Dickinson ISD: State needs to continue to fund HB 3, unfunded mandates will not and cannot be supported by districts
  • Dickinson ISD and Friendswood ISD: growth is essential to maintaining significant pay raises
  • Dickinson ISD: Fitness Tracker is administered for compliance but data is not used; PE teachers are using other methods to determine physical fitness of students


Bexar County Education Coalition 1[A]

  • Commends the increase of the basic allotment, the creation of innovative programs, the investment in early childhood education, and the enhancement of recapture formulas
  • Has implemented TIA that impacts rural areas, expanded resources to parents, and expanded Pre-K
  • Updated recapture programs which had positive impact
  • Increase to funding and funding of specific programs made up for budget cuts
  • Advocates for TIA; claims it contributes to improved performance in Bexar County
  • Recommends continuation of teacher salary increases, especially because of difficulties and risk in profession due to COVID-19


Bexar County Education Coalition 1[B]

  • Acknowledge HB 22 mission to create more equitable education system
  • Campus ratings need to be paused
  • Recommends implementation of Option 4 Transitional system: use 2021 data to benchmark 2022 as transitional year; use disruption to phase in indicators of updates system
  • Does not support completely waiving test requirements, believe this year’s test should be to gather benchmarking data only
  • Suspend HB 1842 and all sanctions associated with F and D ratings, incorporate number scores
  • More clearly delineate between D and F ratings
  • Must expand the definition of availability of Internet access


Katie Benningfield

  • Affirms the value of TIA
  • Programs like ACE and Dallas ISD evaluation programs identify highly qualified teachers and encourage them to stay in the profession and work at high-need campuses
  • Recommends legislature honor commitment of TIA and maintain full funding


Peter Bonanno

  • TIA provides growth through feedback for teachers and that helps students achieve greater success
  • Appreciates TIA and the positive impact it has had on his classroom and family


City Education Partners

  • Emphasize the importance of SB 1882
  • Partners with charters have largely served to replicate great options rather than turnaround partners
  • Campus with turnaround relationship lacked community engagement and had backlash from teachers’ union
  • No significant gains in growth or achievement from the first year of partnership, but noticed positive culture walking along the campus
  • Relay Lab Schools Partnership showed that teachers must be supported in finding sites after their training; report lists a couple other partnerships that have not yet proven effectiveness
  • Most successful partnerships are when district and operating partners are aligned on the level of autonomy and support that the district expects and doing one or two grades at a time
  • Change teacher contracts and take on unions and staff regarding alignment across the state on human resource autonomy
  • Operators receive managing control of a lot of aspects but may not be supported sufficiently to take this on
  • Measures of success are currently how teachers and students feel in these campuses, waiting for data from TEA regarding student achievement
  • Believes turnaround partnerships can be replicated
  • Emphasizes the need for parent and community engagement


Miriam Charles

  • Grateful for TIA and the resources that it has provided for her students and school


Children at Risk 1[A]

  • Pre-K Partnership: a privately funded childcare center contracts with a public institution to provide additional seats for Pre-K children
  • Children eligible for public Pre-K are often eligible for subsidized childcare assistance; partnerships allow mutually beneficial combined funding
  • Proportionately few of the LBD members aware of the pre-K partnerships in their areas; to address, TWC pouring $10 million towards this initiative
  • HB 3 requires (TRS)-certified, nationally accredited, Head Start, or Texas School Ready) childcare providers to offer Pre-K before constructing a new classroom space or submitting a waiver
  • Recommend using incentives and paths to provide public school Pre-K
  • Recommend collecting data to track the number and type of Pre-K partnerships, no mandated reporting to the Texas Workforce Commission
  • Offer alternatives for high quality childcare providers to offer Pre-K
  • Provide incentives to districts that partner with childcare providers


Children at Risk

  • Point out risk of chronic absenteeism; see report for specific statistics regarding absent Texan student populations
  • Define chronic absenteeism allowing monitoring and evaluation of interventions; amend section 29.081 (d) to define chronic absenteeism as student who misses 10% of instructional days
  • Add chronic absenteeism to the “at risk” categoryto ensure allocation to schools to support interventions on behalf of these students; amend 29.091 (d) add “at risk” category
  • Ensure TEA reporting of chronic absenteeism as an indicator; amend section 42.006 to create an indicator for chronic absenteeism in PEIMS


Bibi Yasmin Katsev, Texas District Charter Alliance

  • SB 1882 provides for both turnaround work and district partnerships
  • Can allow for the longer school day, the extra staff needed for social and emotional learning, and salary supplements associated with the ACE model
  • Aims to build capacity for high quality Pre-K around the city
  • Report cites specifically effective partnerships
  • Most successful partnerships demonstrate prior success in raising student achievement and a performance contract ties continuation of partnership to achievement of student outcome goals
  • Lubbock Partnership network has increased scores from an average of an F to a B
  • Need funding flexibility not hindered by federal and state legislation; most funds needed in the early stage of development
  • Underscores the need of family and community support
  • Discusses Rural Schools Innovation Zone Project and believes these techniques can be replicated
  • Overall, RSIZ expands career pathways, and ACE and early learning have both been beneficial outcomes of these programs
  • Encourage sustained accountability and financial incentives for Texas partnerships


Michael Hinojosa, Dallas ISD

  • Adopted Teacher Excellence Initiative; has dropped teacher attrition and attained most effective teachers at 95% rate; has helped to close student achievement gaps
  • Strongly recommend Legislature continue TIA current and projected funding levels as-is, without any deferment
  • TIA allows most qualified teachers to serve the most underserved areas and provides the most potential to racial equity in education for Dallas ISD
  • Critical to continue to support investments made in public education in this session


Early Matters

  • Grateful for funds from HB 3 and hopes legislature will continue to support
  • Early literacy rates very alarming for black/brown/poor populations particularly
  • Outlines many programs under HB 3 that they identify as critical components to ensuring all students receive quality early education, see report for bulleted list
  • Describes the positive data behind these programs and the difference that they are making in addressing inequalities in education
  • Budget cuts coincide with proficiency decline
  • Oppose any programmatic/structural changes to HB 3
  • Encourages the legislature to continue to invest in early education


Scott R. Muri, Ector County ISD

  • Believe TIA is an indispensable tool
  • Lack effective teachers, struggling with teacher vacancies; TIA encourages qualified teachers and personal growth and incentivizes them to stay in profession
  • Need to also attract talent from outside of their community, TIA assists in that
  • Underscores importance of National Board-Certified Teachers
  • Legislature must continue investing in TIA so time and resources expended already do not go to waste


John Fitzpatrick & Jennifer Esterline, Educate Texas 1[A]

  • Discusses elements in HB-3 used to pursue equity including Compensatory Education funding, Teacher Incentive Allotment, support for English Language Learners in K-3rd grade, dyslexia allotment, additional school days for elementary schools, and CCMR support
  • COVID-19 presents new needs for expanded funding for technology and PPE; cannot afford funding cuts
  • Encourage use of rainy-day funds, additional pandemic relief funds from congress, and exploring other revenue options from congress to continue the support of HB 3 and its programs


Equity Center

  • Support and want to perfect HB 3; recommends legislature provide funding to fulfill HB 3
  • District’s local fund assignments are often higher than what they receive in property taxes; can be covered in full or in part by reducing unneeded entitlement programs
  • Loss in revenue from providing tax abatements is treated differently based on the wealthiness of each region
  • Recommends a funding system based on local tax collections
  • If Formula Transition and the Equalized Wealth Transition Grants are applied to the Existing Debt Allotment, this revenue could more than double state aid to available school districts
  • SMA should at least be applied to Career and Tech students as it is to Special Education students for the same rationale
  • HB 21 in the 85 and HB 3 acknowledge the need for increased funding to state facilities
  • Proportionately very few districts receiving money for bonded debt; additional state aid is needed to relieve burden on local taxpayers


Rebecca Bain, Fruitvale ISD

  • Urges the Legislature of the continuation of TIA without any deferment
  • States their teacher retention is an issue due to their smaller salary compared to bigger districts/schools
  • Received $120k to help further teacher compensation, developing a local designation system enables this funding, incentivizes teachers to stay
  • Emphasizes the importance of the TIA and keeping its promise to teachers along with students, asks Legislature to follow through on commitment and fund the program in full


Frisco ISD 1[D]

  • Wants to make sure resources for counselors are widespread and comprehensive
  • CCMR, PEIMS, 60x3TX, student mental health, school safety, graduation, registration, etc. are housed in one department on campuses
  • Recommends creating a task force to evaluate roles and responsibilities of counselors to ensure state resources and positions created to provide counselors with assistance


Frisco ISD 1[F]

  • The ways Frisco ISD decided to use school safety allotment funds are by:
  • Acquiring additional emergency alerting system hardware
  • Replacing antiquated analog handheld radio systems with digital handheld radios and digital radio repeaters for cross communication between municipal departments
  • Purchasing of battery backup units for IP based speaker systems, unable to deliver to Telecenter audible emergency alerts during power outages
  • Integrating a deployable digital radio “Go Kit” with 12 handheld radios into a weatherproof transportable case
  • 2019-2020 allotment was spent on physical security, 2020-2021 allotment is planned to be spent on behavioral health services and programs related to the support of mental health


Frisco ISD Q[1]

  • Has sent a letter of intent to be a part of Cohort D of the Teacher Incentive Allotment program
  • The earliest districts could begin the data capture progress is the 2021-2022 school year
  • Teachers would not receive stipends until the Spring of 2023
  • Funding would not be reimbursed to districts that paid designated teachers until Fall of 2023
  • Due to an extensive and tedious process as it is, it is preferred that the program not be delayed


Frisco ISD Q[2]

  • Frisco ISD prioritized significantly more money than what is designated by HB 3
  • Ability to provide meaningful cost of living adjustments will rely on state funding, “no new revenue” tax cap of 2.5%
  • New finance directly correlates increases in revenue to increases in enrollment
  • Incorrect projection of property value resulted in loss of state aid
  • Reducing funding would undermine HB 3
  • Provides charts entailing salary increases and differences in base gain in teacher salary annually


Frisco ISD Q[4]

  • Tax cap itself does not prohibit a school district from continuing to pay salaries established during the 2019-2020 school year
  • Still makes it difficult for school districts to continue to make living adjustments without an increase in basic allotment
  • Without continued increase in basic allotment, districts will not be able to produce revenue or staff raises
  • A district’s options for funding pay increases include: reducing other areas of budget, only reasonable to a point, and generating more enrichment tax revenue through a TRE


Ricardo Lopez, Garland ISD

  • Teachers move to administrative positions for financial security, even if their passion is in the classroom
  • In Dallas, people make more money without a degree than they do teaching
  • Emphasizes the reward and retainment that should be provided to the best and brightest teachers the district holds
  • Recommends implementation of GISD TIA Field Guide that they have developed for other Texas administrators


Kelli Moulton, Galveston ISD

  • Strongly encourage the continuation of TIA without any deferment; improves outcomes and encourages equitable distribution of talent
  • Many educators persisted despite low salaries; TIA commends this
  • Has partnered with Texas Center for Educator Excellence
  • Recommends a continued focus on valuing teachers and encouraging them to stay in the profession


Alexandra Hales Elizondo, Good Reason Houston

  • Supports a robust accountability system such as the A-F created with HB 22
  • A-F is supported by parents; used as a snapshot in time rather than an ultimate label on a school
  • Believes HB 1842 offers a chance for true reform; supports turning around a struggling school district; District of Innovation Provisions should be maximized over time
  • Teacher retention issues disproportionately affect minority students
  • Asks for continued funding of Teacher Incentive Allotment, Compensatory Education Allotment, Early Education Allotment and the College Career and Military Readiness Bonus
  • Particularly warns against pause on the TIA especially because of the time and resources already poured into this program by schools and districts in Houston
  • Understands there will have to be significant budget reconsiderations, but asks that those not cut funding for HB 3


Nugget Cunningham, Grand Prairie ISD

  • Urges Legislature for the continuation of TIA funding without any deferment
  • Created a system that that meets all of TEA’s readiness factors, specific factors shown on page
  • With the added difficulties of teaching in a pandemic, now should be a time to continue to invest in teachers and schools
  • Advocates and hopes the Legislature will keep their commitment with funding the TIA in full


Eric Hale

  • Believes student achievement will increase simultaneously with the increase in teachers’ salary and the retention of effective teachers
  • Strategic compensation resulted in an increase in salary, along with an additional stipend because of personal MyTea Master educator rating
  • Urges Legislature to honor the commitment of maintaining full funding of TIA


Mike Manigault, Home Builders Institute 1[B]

  • IBC list available for credit in K-12 accountability system provides a barrier
  • Many school districts and superintendents will not approve courses or curriculum unless they are on the TEA “magic list”
  • Evaluations/determination of the K-12 accountability IBC list should include: a true tri-agency initiative and consider many valued IBCs cannot be completed before high school graduation
  • Texas should make sure ISDs know that there are many programs not currently on the approved list, that are valuable to the marketplace
  • Strongly urges the evaluation and formation of the IBC list and should be a priority of all three agencies, especially Texas Workforce Commission and its employees


Hogg Foundation for Mental Health

  • Multi-tiered system of support: wants to connect students to social, emotional, and behavioral resource and educators must also address harmful systemic policies
  • Behavioral threat assessments: schools with larger BIPOC populations more likely to use threat assessments
  • Disparate discipline practices: BIPOC people disproportionately victims of exclusionary discipline
  • Recommends making positive behavior programs available to all grade levels
  • Suggests providing schools advice on positive discipline policies
  • Recommendations include:
  • Building on the passage of HB 674 to make positive behavior programs available to all grade levels
  • Providing guidance to schools on positive discipline qualities focusing on creating, upholding, and repairing relationships
  • Requiring school districts identified in the top percentile of discipline disparities to create and implement discipline improvement plan
  • Recommending directing TEA to develop best practices and provide technical assistance for district program/policies and procedures
  • Increasing access to school-based support services by dedicating funding to a variety of areas


Health and Human Services

  • HHSCs and TEA provide ongoing technical assistance to LMHAs/LBHAs
  • LMHAs/ LBHAs collaborate with the 20 Regional Education Service Centers (ESCs) to employ nonphysician mental health professionals (NPMHPs)
  • Some LMHAs report few to no qualified applicants with additional hiring delays because of COVID-19; HHSC working to offer websites to identify qualified applicants
  • Can provide ongoing trainings and resources such as webinars, substance use prevention trainings, best practices lists, and TEA’s statewide Resource rubric
  • LMHAs/LBHAs provide monthly reports in a timely fashion
  • Gaines and Maples have been participating in the consortium’s meetings for SB 11


Amanda Hope

  • Supports TIA and TEI
  • TIA can particularly benefit rural districts by encouraging high-performing teachers to seek these incentives and retain high-performing educators
  • TIA encourages diverse recruitment of teachers
  • Recommends keeping TIA wholly intact, underfunding will send the message that teachers are an after thought


Henna Hosain

  • TIA provides confidence in ability and boosts quality of life for teachers


Intercultural Development Research Association 1[A]

  • Emphasizes the importance of early education for young English language learners, dual language and early education allotment
  • Schools serving non-English speakers made a lot of money through this allotment
  • Must increase funding for all English learning students, not just those enrolled
  • Some report that early education allotment cannot even cover the costs of full day PreK
  • Early Education Allotment recommendations include:
  • Using Rainy Day fund to maintain state’s funding to public schools and promises made in HB 3
  • Protecting weighted student-based funding systems; weights should account for updated cost studies that accounts for student needs and considers COVID-19 needs
  • Encouraging federal government to approve and direct additional stimulus funds due to COVID-19
  • Identifying revenue mechanisms for state budgets to create additional funding, basically additional taxes
  • Need to delay state property tax compression until the next biennium for $5 billion in savings, sustains state financial resources for the Foundation School Program
  • Need to delay the TIA to the next biennium for short-term savings of $140 million, sustains state financial resources for the Foundation School Program


Intercultural Development Research Association 1[B]

  • HB 22 relies too heavily on STAAR to accurately depict a performance indicator across domains
  • STAAR perpetuates racial divides
  • A-F system obscures true assessment of school and student performance; can punish schools that largely serve students of color; whole district can receive punishment for one bad school
  • Fear takeover by private institutions of public campuses with SB 1882
  • Fear schools with different contracts under different operating partners; feels that these organizations lack accountability systems
  • TEA has published rules that even further increase power of charter schools
  • Fear funding inequities between charter managed and district managed campuses
  • School districts could enter into multi-year contracts with private partners without supporting evidence of improvement
  • Challenges to transparency and public oversight will increase
  • TEA should be instructed to promulgate rules and provide resources that promote school supports and community-based approaches
  • Recommendations include:
  • Districts should adopt community-based approaches that show school improvement
  • Should replace A-F accountability system with opportunity to learn metrics that identify specific areas for support
  • Broad authority to impose state sanctions should be removed


Intercultural Development Research Association 1[F]

  • Positive and safe school climates provided by strong relationship between students and teachers
  • Warn against disparate disciplinary measures
  • No clear model for how student data is to be used and shared
  • Recommendations include:
  • Safe and Supportive School Program teams should not include law enforcement, should aim to include restorative justice, and must seek someone with specific special education personnel
  • Threat assessments should be carefully monitored, used sparingly, and have publicly accessible data reports through the TEA; reports should be disaggregated by race and sex
  • Legislators must adopt/mandate a school to social worker/counselor proportion that must be met before they increase law enforcement
  • Should ensure school safety allotment is built towards positive school climates; must prioritize behavioral health
  • Legislature and TEA officials must ensure privacy protections for student data and information
  • Should prohibit punitive discipline practices


Dominique McCain, Bridget Devlin, & Todd Williams, Best in Class, Texas Impact Network, & The Commit Partnership

  • Supports TIA and positive outcomes and encourages legislature to continue to fund it because of time and resources already poured into development
  • With a seniority incentives program, older teachers choose to work in areas with less poverty because there was no incentive to work in high-need districts that may be more challenging
  • TIA is one of the best ways to attract the best talent to the areas that need it most


Simone Joyce

  • Commends TIA as an effective incentive program
  • Teacher retention is essential for the benefits of schools and communities as a whole


Priscila Dilley, Leadership Academy Network on SB 1822

  • SB 1882 ensures opportunity to partner with organizations that have diverse expertise and create different school transformation models independently
  • In first year, all Leadership Academies were removed from TEA’s “Improvement Required” list and demonstrated student growth placing them among top half of Texas public schools
  • FWISD is planning to replicate the model at other campuses
  • LAN works to partner with intermediary organizations like non-profits that specialize in aspects to improve
  • Outlines pillars that Leadership Academy model focuses on
  • SB 1882 allows for developing talent within schools
  • SB 1882 encourages districts to expand diversity of school models and bring in targeted expertise in a financially sustainable way
  • Not limited to district’s budget, suggests utilizing stream of funds from public dollars to agency grants
  • Network has 90% retention rate across its’ schools
  • Use two key levers to measure success:
    • Students are compared to their demographic peers within the state, district, and across the country
    • Partner can exclusively focus on innovation and improving academies, while the district focuses on compliance, administrative duties and facilities
  • Community input makes partnerships replicable, while scalability depends on the context of the district, school, and community assets
  • Partnerships influence district to pilot school models that best fit the needs of individual school communities


Priscila Dilley, Leadership Academy Network on TIA

  • Recommend the Texas legislature continue TIA with current and projected funding levels as-is without any deferment
  • LAN is a part of cohort C, which means they have poured time and money into creating TIA designation system but have not received funding yet
  • COVID-19 has shown that teachers are a linchpin to student success; this great work should be compensated in s systemic manner to attract, retain, and grow educators
  • TIA focuses attention on a more equitable distribution of our talent


Anne Lawrence

  • Teaching is a rewarding profession, but the lack of financial compensation is a struggle for personal finances for many
  • Many coworkers must work other jobs in order to make ends meet or take on too many responsibilities that have additional stipends
  • Expresses gratitude for TIA and describes the many benefits that it has created in her classroom and life and feeling of finally being paid her worth
  • Speaks to its encouragement during COVID-19 when teaching is so challenging


James Littlejohn

  • 85% of students are economically disadvantaged and 70% are English language learners; much of the support they need starts with their teachers
  • Over past five years have seen retention rate go from 69% to 97% and committed to using TIA to ensure that continues
  • TIA is helpful for retention, which is vital for student and school success
  • TIA helps incentivize teachers in low-income rural schools
  • On track to be in the program’s third cohort and have invested a lot in developing their program for TIA
  • Research shows that having an effective teacher increases a classroom’s lifetime earnings by $250,000; TIA is not just boosting teacher salaries but students’ chances of higher salaries too
  • COVID-19 has required teachers to innovate and develop teaching and they deserve compensation for this challenge
  • TIA will provide strong avenues for improved mentorship
  • Asks that legislature focus on legislation like HB 3 that have a huge impact on public education, despite the lack of resources and tough decisions that will have to be made


Dr. Gisela Saenz, La Joya ISD

  • Describes LJISD as rural and experiencing challenges that come with being located near the border, explore educational history of district
  • Teacher turnover rate is high due to district location and student demographics
  • TIA will allow them to overcome issue of teachers moving to nearby districts by retaining effective educators and encouraging others to improve
  • One of their designees for TIA has had to work two jobs for 15 years and consistently spent her money on her students to provide them with supplies they could not afford
  • Recommends continuing to fund TIA to reward educators


Christina Lott 

  • TIA is best news she has had all year and reflects the hard work put into her career
  • Allows her to focus completely on career rather than on making ends meet financially
  • Appreciates TIA and is grateful for recognition and incentive to continue to improve, hopes legislature will continue to fund it to keep good teachers in the classroom


Cicely Alexander, Lubbock Partnership Network

  • LPN was created in 2019 as a new non-profit to manage four campuses in Lubbock
  • Notes that HB 4205 can have the power to keep schools open; implemented ACE model at campuses and received additional resources due to SB 1882
  • Were looking forward to STAAR to show improvements that these programs have provided
  • Claim partnering with educational consulting company helped refocus leadership teams on instruction and away from all of the fillers
  • Notes that SB 1882 funding is crucial; general ADA budget would not accommodate or support the innovative initiatives implemented for the LPN
  • LPN campuses are using district and states assessments to measure if programs are successful
  • Provide clear goal of creating A/B elementary campuses by the 21-22 school year
  • Preliminary data suggested all campuses were going to earn at a B
  • Have increased students who stay for after school meals and reduced discipline measures
  • Teacher retention for the 2020-2021 school year is 93% as compared to 70% in the 2018-2019 school year
  • Main difference as to why many Subchapter C Charters are successful is autonomy granted in the SB 1882 contracts between TEA and corresponding districts
  • Open to expanding model to other campuses that need support within Lubbock ISD


Shareefah Mason

  • Commends HB 3 and TIA; opposes delaying funding
  • TIA has allowed him, an educator in Dallas’ most impoverished zip code to be recognized as one of the most elite teachers across the state
  • Educator’s hard work in impoverished areas often goes unnoticed because of school ratings
  • TIA allows teachers to show individual progress while being rewarded with state distinction and financial compensation


Marissa Castanon-Hernandez

  • Recommends continuation of and not delaying TIA
  • Suspending TIA will increase teacher turnover and lead to lower student achievement and higher costs for districts
  • States that legislature needs to stand by its commitment to recognize and reward effective teachers by funding TIA
  • Has worked in high performing schools as well as in high needs schools
  • Understands the importance of TIA in retaining quality teachers at high need campuses where they are most needed
  • Dealing with starting a new school year in a pandemic and a broken promise concerning TIA could very well be what pushes most experienced teachers out of the profession forever
  • Recruiting, hiring, and training new teachers is costly for districts; retention is essential


Annalee Gulley, Mental Health America of Greater Houston

  • Chair of the HB 906 Mental Health Task Force created by TEA after 86thSession
  • Charged with studying and evaluating mental health services funded by state and provided at school district or open-enrollment charter school to student, parent, family, or employee
  • Year 1 focused on common language needed to study state-funded, school-based mental health services, training for educators, information gathering and evaluating mental health services, and outlining role of various mental health professionals within schools
  • Findings from Year 1 work will be shared with the legislature on Nov. 2, 2020
  • Provides list of school mental health task force members


Alissa Sughrue, National Alliance on Mental Illness Texas

  • A lot of positive work has been done to improve access to mental health services for students from previous session’s legislation; critical to continue this work and do even more
  • Children’s mental health has been/will be greatly affected by the pandemic
  • For many students, pandemic has meant lack of access to counselors and supportive adults and fewer adults that recognize warning signs
  • Recommendations for mental health improvement:
    • Protect and increase health coverage for children and youth, including mental health coverage and access to services
    • Make the emergency regulations around telemedicine and telehealth permanent, in order to remove barriers to care
    • Ensure students and families have consistent access to broadband internet and technology needed to engage in services
    • Incorporate additional groups of mental health providers into resources provided by the Texas Child Mental Health Care Consortium
  • Psychoeducation for parents is very beneficial to the overall mission
  • Effective strategies include partnering with family mental health education and support programs, such as NAMI programs, and improving the capacity of Certified Family Partners
  • SB 11 only allows, not requires, school districts to incorporate family-oriented mental health programming
  • The bill does not provide funding opportunities to implement parent education on mental health
  • Recommends state invest in family-based mental health services and supports that recognize the key role parents and guardians play in mental health of students
  • Describes NAMI programming and recommends as an option for school districts to offer


The National Association of Social Workers TX

  • Recommends utilizing and promoting use of school social workers to assist both students and families
  • Recommends defining school social work services within the Education Code; imperative start to incorporating more of these services within school systems
  • Aligns requests with Texas Coalition for Healthy Minds
  • Provides in-depth descriptions of recommendations within report
  • Leverage existing COVID-19 relief funds to support mental health of students and school staff and supportive school climates
  • Provide sustained training and technical assistance to district leaders and support staff responsible for setting school-wide policies, practices, and procedures related to mental health
  • Increase access to school-based services for students at risk for mental health or substance concerns
  • Increase access to mental health services in school or community settings; includes clinical services
  • Prioritize prevention and intervention strategies instead of punishment
  • Address structural racism and its impacts on learning


Dr. Sean Maika, North East ISD 1[A]

  • Spending requirements for new allotments should be waived for 19-20 given disruption of pandemic and lack of Commissioner’s rules
  • NEISD was not able complete plans in spring 2020, which impacted fiscal year spending requirements
    • If spending requirements are not met for a given year they have next two years to make up the difference and reach three-year average
    • Think this will be difficult especially with Early Education and CCMR allotments
  • No new guidance after initial TEA HB 3 webpage was posted; districts have not received any Commissioner’s rules or more guidance on new allotments
  • Module 6 of Financial Accountability System Resource Guide covering compensatory education has not been updated to reflect HB 3 changes
  • Believe that TIA should be delayed for Cohort D and later since implementation has not begun
  • NEISD is one of the districts interested in developing a designation system in Cohort D, but does not want to implement TIA if it means other existing programs of HB 3 being cut
  • Study should be conducted on effects of the property tax revenue cap of 2.5% in relation to local property value growth
    • State capped NEISD growth at $7.2M but state’s chare decreased by $9M
    • District did not provide change in compensation for FY21; unless basic allotment is increased, do not expect to be able to provide pay increase soon
  • Recommends study of impact of statewide enrollment decreases in grades K-3 on the Early Education Allotment
    • Saw declines in enrollment because of COVID-19, but will still have expenses like reading academies to implement and allotment will be reduced due to enrollment


Dr. Sean Maika, North East ISD 1[B]

  • Encourages pausing accountability, recalibrate, and build upon the progress of HB 1842 (84R) and HB 22 (85R) to create an equitable and accurate accountability system
  • Use this year to gather baseline data (e.g. STAAR implementation)
  • Current accountability system does not account for limitations to the provision of consistent and effective instructional opportunities during the Pandemic
  • Recommends inquiring about the methodology TEA plans to use to assess growth
  • No state accountability ratings in 2020, so schools with unacceptable ratings in 2019 maintained sanction and interventions this year
  • Recommends inquiring why TEA recreated the process for developing improvement plans in the absence of 2020 test scores rather than seeing if existing plans may have been effective
  • Inquire how TEA will conduct 7th grade reading assessment; have not received guidance from TEA in absence of STAAR scores and developed our own criteria to identify students for testing
  • Need better internet access before transitioning to an online testing format; expand HB 3906
  • Encourage legislature to expand requirement and evaluate reliable, high-speed broadband access for instruction and assessment on a campus at the same time
  • Transition plan should also have a study on devices available within the districts
  • Notes that students score lower on some online examinations; concerned by students receiving special education treatments
  • Provision of HB 3906 that requires no more than 75% of questions in a multiple-choice format beginning with 2022-2023 school year
  • Recommends giving educators blueprints of the tests and wide-ranging examples of new question format so they can prepare professional development for educators in summer of 2021


Dr. Sheba K. George, Newman International Academy

  • Charter school with nearly 3100 students in seven locations
  • Delaying TIA undermines faith in educational system and discourages teachers from trying for their students
  • Strongly urge the Texas Legislature to continue the TIA current and projected funding levels as-is, without any deferment in time or funding amount
  • Have poured lots of time and resources into the designation system and do not want that work to be lost
  • Had developed different monetary awards for teachers to try and encourage them, but felt that there was no way for them to provide a substantial increase
  • TIA has enabled Newman to focus on many important programs that has aided in the success of the school district and its students
  • TIA also offers encouragement during COVID-19 when teachers are putting themselves and their families at risk


Organizing Network for Education

  • Recommends that salary increases be carried forward from year to year; especially in light of the pandemic
  • Recommends providing funding to prioritize hiring and retention of mental health professionals; specifically, counselors on every campus to meet the nationally recommended ratio
  • Reallocate the state budget allowing for additional hiring of school counselors to support students’ mental health
  • Provide funding to school districts so they may create a new position at each campus that manages the academic and administrative duties currently assigned to counselors permitting mental health staff (LPC, MSW, etc.) workloads and job descriptions that solely support mental and socio-emotional needs of students.
  • Partner with university graduate training programs to develop a school counselor talent pipeline and/or residency program


Partnership for a Healthy Texas

  • According to Department of Defense, 71% of Americans age 17-24 are unable to join the military with the leading cause being overweight
  • Physically active children are more likely to thrive academically and socially, reduces obesity and related chronic diseases which cost state in healthcare
  • Physical education accountability reporting reinforces obesity prevention efforts by state government
  • Disappointed that the TEA has not implemented the collection of data and been able to share results
  • Request House Public Education committee’s assistance ensuring data is gathered and distributed which will allow stakeholders, schools, and parents to ensure children are receiving quality physical education
  • Ideal goal would be students receive at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity each day


Sara Bonser, Plano ISD

  • Concerned current economic conditions are negatively impacting state revenue and budget will affect sustainability of combination of funding for public and the property tax compression
  • Prioritizing public education funding is essential right now
  • Prudent to modify the A-F system of accountability to mitigate the unintended consequences related to the single administration of the STAAR exam in the 2020-2021 school year
  • The letter grade scores should be reset to reflect the absence of the second administration of the STAAR
  • Unfunded mandates could be eliminated to repurpose funds to prioritize mental and physical health of students
  • Recommends hiring additional school counselors, nurses, social workers, and essential staff members to help better address mental health issues
  • Any funding effort in the telehealth department is well invested money that goes into providing support of counseling and tele-behavioral health to students


Sakennia C. Reed

  • With TIA school systems can emphasize great teaching and equitable distribution of top tier teachers in lowest performing and hardest-to-staff schools
  • The TIA allows teachers to provide students with the best education possible while earning a highly competitive salary
  • By investing in teachers, you are improving outcomes for schools/communities and futures


Jayne Rhodes

  • Leaving the TIA in effect will continue to incentivize and reward hard work for teachers throughout school districts
  • Asks that TIA remain in tact so that teachers continue to be rewarded for hard work that they are passionate about
  • To obtain incentives teachers have to reflect on their craft and work on self-improvement


Dr. Jeannie Stone, Richardson ISD

  • The loss of TIA funding would possibly lead to the end of RISD ACE program – which has shown successful results for students that are most vulnerable throughout RISD
  • RISD plans to continue the ACE program for the foreseeable future utilizing the funding provided by the Teacher Incentive Allotment
  • Expanding the ACE program remains a budget priority
  • Will have to reduce staff or other school programs by at least $3 million or the ACE program could be eliminated all together
  • The state should continue to provide funding for the teacher salaries that were mandated in the 86th legislative session
  • The tax cap severely limits RISD ability to collect revenue to meet rising costs and will prevent the district from giving new raises in the future
  • Already had steps in place for high quality PE; states that TEA report is just “checking of the box”


Dr. Jeannie Stone, Richardson ISD Q[1]

  • State cannot delay implementation of the teacher incentive pay program to the next biennium
  • To continue the 2020-21 ACE program, 1,000,000 in anticipated funds will be used from the TIAProgram
  • For the 2022-23 biennium in its entirety, RISD plans will remain consistent with their 2020-21 agenda as well
  • In responding to CONID-19, need to recruit, retain, and reward quality teachers is more important than ever
  • Tax cap limits RISD’s ability to meet rising costs and will prevent raises in the district
  • RISD has made sure of a high-quality PE program prior to the SB 1873 bill; Texas has not used any data from this report


Rural Superintendents

  • Rural Texas school districts are at a disadvantage when it comes to attracting and retaining excellent educators
  • Technology Incentive Allotment provides a critical tool to address disadvantages districts face, resources and time are currently being invested in this direction, knows it will help students
  • RFI has generated more uncertainty around school policy and funding
  • Superintendents urge legislators to keep their promises made to Texas teachers through HB 3 and continue to fund the Teacher Incentive Allotment


Bob Popinski, Raise Your Hand Texas 1[A]

  • Maintain HB 3 formula funding and educational programs
  • Implementing the health and safety protocols for reopening campuses will cost estimated $485 per student for an average district; nearly the same amount as entire HB 3 increase
  • Schools cannot take funding cuts on HB 3 programs
  • Flow the $1.2 Billion CARES Act funding for K-12 education, and any subsequent federal stimulus funding, to schools
  • Maintain all HB 3 requirements for full day pre-kindergarten
  • Consider delaying the automatic school district tax rate compression until state revenues stabilize
  • Determine the effect of charter school expansion on the state budget
  • Each student’s enrollment in a charter is significantly more than an urban or suburban school district; legislature should examine and reconsider rapid expansion of charters
  • Suggests placing an elected body to oversee charter expansion and ensure public input is heard and spending is efficient


Bob Popinski, Raise Your Hand Texas 1[B]

  • Believes in pausing the state’s A-F accounting rating system and creating a working group to develop a new school accountability system that appropriately measures high-quality education
  • Recommends establishing statewide accountability working group to assess effects of COVID-19 and begin developing new school accountability system
  • Teachers must use appropriate and timely assessments to better inform and address student learning gaps, while keeping parents involved as well
  • Continue to allow campus partnerships to access higher charter-level funding to implement innovative programs
  • Funding from state law as charter operators should be made more accessible to school districts as local charter authorizers

Save the Children

  • Discusses the increasing need for mental health support amidst COVID-19 and their support for HB 18
  • 20% of children in Texas have experienced at least 2 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences; results in mental health issues, substance, abuse and violence which cost billions annually
  • Pandemic will only heighten these adverse experiences and mental health concerns; studies that they have undertaken indicate this is already the case
  • Recommend social emotional learning programs such as their flagship Journey of Hope
  • Outlines programming and positive outcomes of Journey of Hope for students especially in self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-control
  • For every dollar invested Journey of Hope there is a return of $11


Annette Shelley

  • Commends TIA and appreciates being recognized and rewarded for her hard work
  • Believes allotment pushes educators to continue to better themselves and teaching strategies


School Innovation Collaborative

  • Supports collaboration with high performing charter schools
  • Has developed the Network Design Lab to support collaboration across campus leadership teams
  • Supports high quality curriculum selection and implementation; includes Lexia for foundational reading skills and individualized lesson plans
  • Need school board who will commit to change; e.g. adding 20 days to the calendar to combat summer slide
  • Have used resources to create new positions and leveraged federal school improvement boards
  • Need access to additional flexible startup funding, additional state funding, and district resources for both sustainability and creation of new initiatives
  • Opportunity to generate equivalent funding to state authorized charter schools such as TiA or KIPP allows for innovation at fraction of cost to state; do not have to get new charter
  • Need partner districts to make a continued commitment to increased budget autonomy and transparency to be non-SB 1882 financially sustainable
  • Assess through an adaptive format: NWEA Map; turnaround schools have shown growth
  • Contractual promise of continuity has brought optimism


Karla Smith

  • Teachers can earn as much as a six-figure salary without leaving the classroom for admin positions
  • TIA shows legislature cares about educators and believes they deserve to be recognized
  • Commends TIA; allows for medical treatments she did not think she could get
  • Believes highly effective educators will be drawn to Texas because of TIA
  • Recommends that the TIA not be reduced or delayed


Lee Spiller

  • Points out fraud and abuse with some past mental health legislation; voices issues with Chisholm’s theories that psychology should replace faith
  • Opposes HB 18 which mandates school mental health curriculum
  • Oppose teaching children as young as nine about suicide and self-harm
  • Argue that any school mental health program deserves full transparency
  • Fear school mental health interests being managed by private providers; fear corruption
  • Opposes AISD over reach; fears 1-minute long Zoom calls to check in with each students are a waste of time and invasive to parents
  • Points out multiple incidents of fraudulent institutionalizations in Texas, perhaps with the intent of receiving increased government funds
  • Asserts SB 11 is conducting digital surveillance on students; fear creating false positives for risky students
  • Questions efficacy of digital surveillance because simultaneously more teachers are having sex with students
  • Fears subsequent intervention mechanisms; students getting hauled off to hospitals


Albert A. Peña, San Perlita ISD

  • Advocate for the Technology Incentive Allotment
  • Teachers identify it as a great motivator to perfect their craft and appreciate it
  • Discusses the importance of TIA to rural districts in retaining staff and encouraging them to come to these areas in the first place


Walter Stroup 1[B]

  • STAAR is ineffective, expensive and time consuming
  • Use model T methodologies very few people understand
  • STAAR measures characteristics of students that teachers cannot understand
  • Existing assessments behave like metrics of biological growth rather than change in achievement
  • CAT generates a scale score using fewer questions and is still ineffective
  • Obscures teacher views of student performance, is expensive and time consuming, and depends on Model T methodologies for weak scores
  • Recommends examining Pattern-Based Items report provided which does the following:
  • Give strategies on how knowledge gaps can be closed
  • Give teachers personalized analysis about their students’ learning
  • Partial credit allows students to show what they do know
  • Provide clear feedback to students, teachers, parents, administrators and lawmakers
  • Created by teachers with deep knowledge of student learning behavior


Tony Bennett & Mike Meroney, Texas Association of Manufacturers

  • Legislature must remove barriers for true alignment between public education, HE, and diverse workforce needs for Texas employers
  • Support more industry-based certifications being taught in high school; current IBC list for K-12 public accountability system is flawed and incomplete
  • IBC list has arbitrary guardrails such as certifications needing to be completed while the student is still in high school to receive the credit and decisions for IBC inclusion is solely on TEA
    • Unexperienced staff in a position to pick winners and losers
  • Support an overhaul in the evaluation and determination of the K-12 accountability IBC list
  • TEA should seek feedback from TWC and THECB; business and industry partners must provide meaningful input
  • Many IBC programs cannot be completed before high school graduation, many are completed in postsecondary environments like TSTC, community colleges, and apprenticeship programs
    • School districts deserve credit for offering coursework in these certification areas


Greg Gibson, Texas Association of Midsize Schools 1[A]

  • Midsize allotment provides approximately $1.1M per TAMS member to help offset the diseconomy of scale that occurs
  • Raise in basic allotment from HB 3 was/is much appreciated
  • Inclusion of SPED to HB 3 formulas was very helpful to keep up with growing SPED population
  • Adjustment for each student subpopulation is helpful to better position state to allow dollars to flow student needs more directly
  • Recommends increase in facility funding, utilization of current year values, insurance of state covering local loss due to tax compression and/or local homestead exemptions


Greg Gibson, Texas Association of Midsize Schools 1[B]

  • Midsize allotment provides approximately $1.1M per TAMS member to help offset the diseconomy of scale that occurs
  • Standardized testing should be limited to a reasonable amount such as the minimum amount required to meet Federal guidelines
  • Concern with A-F system which is predicated on annual growth standards during COVID-19, using A-F during this time will be reckless and inaccurate


Amy Beneski, Texas Association of School Administrators 1[A]

  • Commend passage of HB 3, but recommends flexibility with statutory and regulatory guidelines
  • Some school districts may need an extended timeline to fully develop their teacher incentive programs in order to access funding
  • Additional funding helps teacher pay increases, reading academies, the teacher incentive allotment, and the CCMR bonus
  • More critical than ever that teachers of youngest students are trained in effective reading strategies
  • Urges legislature to continue funding commitment of HB 3 during the 87th Legislative Session and refrain from cuts that could delay or impact programs that were prioritized in HB 3
  • Recommends committee closely monitor HB 3 rulemaking by the agency to ensure all proposed and adopted rules comply with statute and legislative intent and allow for max local control


Dr. Casey McCreary, Texas Association of School Administrators 1[B]

  • Recommends not applying same sanctions to D rated campuses as they do to F; recommend removal of 39.101(c) to clarify and rectify
    • 39.054 states an F is the only unacceptable rating which conflicts with TEC, Sec. 39.101(c)
  • Recommend removal of provision that a district cannot receive an A if there is an F school in the district; recommend grading each domain separately without an overall district grade
  • Recommend waiving A-F system for this school year due to the pandemic
  • Recommend only using STAAR testing locally as a diagnostic
  • Recommend committee reviews the APAC and ATAC recommendations


Amy Beneski, Texas Association of School Administrators, 1[F]

  • Recommends reviewing how schools spend their safety allotment
  • Noted that school safety allotments have been used in conjunction with other district funds to pay for salaries, programs, equipment, etc.
  • TASA themselves gathered data on this topic
  • Outlines some of the specific responses in report


Texas Association of School Boards 1[A]

  • Cautions against delaying the Teacher Incentive Allotment; highlights that promises have been made and resources spent to develop these programs
  • Could instead delay or freeze future applicants for the TIA
  • During session, school boards were less than enthusiastic about one-size-fits-all teacher pay increases
  • HB 3’s tying salary increases to basic allotment increases has been more successful; decreasing state support and expecting districts to maintain these salaries would be unfair
  • State can avoid districts having to negatively impact recent property tax reforms by maintaining its level of education funding


Texas Association of School Boards 1[B]

  • Partnerships with charters have mixed results at best at turning districts around
  • Partnering with colleges may be a better alternative and has proven successful
  • Legislature should consider a mechanism by which locally elected boards maintain general oversight of and accountability for all district campuses
  • Local districts should be able to continue to find partnerships that work best for them
  • Implementation Grants, additional state funding, expert staff, and accountability exemption have all been necessary to implement new turn-around partnerships
  • Measures of success include monitoring discipline, absence, dropout, testing, culture, and input and participation data
  • Effective programs can be replicated


Texas Association of School Psychologists

  • Support a comprehensive approach to school safety, which includes increasing both the psychological and physical safety of students
  • Emphasize the importance of school psychologists in creating a safe environment
  • Review should include whether money has been used to make new school psychologist program
  • Recommended that there be 1 school psychologist for every 500 students; Texas ratio is 1 to every 2,752 students
  • Review should ensure that districts are not overly funding physical safety measures at the expense of psychological safety measures


David Feigen, Texans Care for Children

  • Emphasize importance of pre-k programs
  • Full day pre-k funding is provided by the Early Education Allotment
  • Before seeking a waiver or building new space, schools must attempt to partner with Headstart or Quality Childcare provider
  • Suggests examining how districts have leveraged the Early Education Allotment to provide full-day pre-k and improve early learning environments
  • Recommends researching how the legislature can continue to encourage partnerships between districts and quality care providers
  • Recommends examining how legislature can build on HB 3 and improve educational opportunities for young English learners
  • Suggests looking at how the legislature can support districts hit by reductions in pre-k enrollment
  • Discusses other HB 3 early childcare provisions; committees should assess which grades are supported and what new strategies are funded and how to improve third grade reading
  • Urge legislature to fully fund revenue shortfall and make use of the Rainy Day fund or other federal funding source
  • Ensure Early Education Allotment supports children in pre-k, including English learners
  • Update high-quality prekindergarten standards required in HB 3 to include a maximum class size of 22 students and a student-teacher ratio of 11:1; no current pre-K standards for this
  • Use Early Education Allotment to ramp up from half day to full day
  • Needed weighted funding to account for diverse/ EL students; has not been an increase in weighted funding since the 1980s


Josette Saxton, Texans Care for Children 1[C-F]

  • Outlines need for mental and behavioral health support especially amidst pandemic
  • Describes the opportunities that are provided by student mental health legislation
  • Lack of leadership needed to align efforts; no clear coordination between those branches currently
  • Lack of staff and resources within TEA to support implementation efforts; supplemental bill funding cannot be used for student mental or school climate efforts
  • Lack staffing to coordinate efforts among ESCs, school districts, and other state agencies that play roles in advancing effective school practices related to mental health
  • No reporting requirements on how SSA uses money; leads to mental health initiatives being underfunded
  • State leaders need to provide district leaders with enhanced technical assistance
  • Conflicts between discipline practice and substance abuse prevention and control
  • Leverage COVID-19 funding to support student mental health and school climate strategies
  • Protect the gains made in Texas to support the mental health of students and promote positive school climates
    • Recommends requiring districts to comply with laws related to mental health and school climate regardless of in-person or online
  • Recommends requiring districts to report on the use of SSA funds to TEA to assess impact of the allotment on district efforts
  • Establish an office of mental health initiatives within TEA
  • Provide district leaders with access to enhances technical assistance on effective implementation of mental health and school safety legislation passed by 86th
  • Prioritize prevention and intervention and not punishment in addressing substance use in students
  • Require school board members and superintendents to receive training on trauma-informed schools and relationship between teacher wellness and student learning
  • Increase access to school based mental health resources


Josette Saxton, Texans Care for Children 1[E]

  • Asserts the importance of implementing effective suicide prevention programs because some can do more hurt than help
  • Suggests that if a district’s substance abuse policies are solely disciplinary and not evidence-based public health strategies, risk pushing youth into the school to prison pipeline
  • “Mental health services” is not defined in statute
    • Recommends amending the statute to define “mental health services” and to differentiate it from “training”
  • Comprehensive mental health includes a continuum of interventions ranging from social, emotional, and behavioral development to individualized special services for students in need
    • Recommends narrowing and clarifying scope of services and training and outcomes evaluated on; focus on research informed indicators of mental health
  • Outlines three tiers of services for mental health
  • Finds difficulty in measuring fidelity of programs, questions if they are being implemented correctly and how to measure this
    • Recommends repealing items of the study that are not reliable, useful, appropriate, valid measures of effectiveness of any given mental health service or training
  • Suggests a lack of training and technical assistance in selecting, implementing and coordinating effective programs and practices
    • Recommends putting safeguards in place before districts select and implement the services and/or training
  • Recommends building capacity to provide districts with guidance and technical assistance in selecting and implementing effective school mental health services and related training
  • Recommends dedicating funding to assist districts in selecting and implementing effective school mental health services and mental health related trainings
  • Recommends requiring the Task Force to assist TEA in the development and implementation of the Statewide Plan for Student Mental Health
  • Recommends requiring Task Force reports to be submitted to the Statewide Behavioral Health Coordinating Council and the Texas Child Mental Health Consortium


Seth Winick, Texas Coalition for Healthy Minds

  • Describes some of the outcomes of COVID-19 and harms to students, teachers, and Texans
  • Negative outcomes from COVID are expected to continue for years
  • Asserts that legislature must continue to build upon HB 18 and SB 11 to meet the need of social, emotional, and mental health barriers of schools
  • Recommends leveraging CARES Act and other federal funds for support
  • Provide sustained training and assistance to staff responsible for setting school-wide policies, practices and procedures related to mental health areas
  • Increase school-based services for those at risk for mental health or substance abuse issues; expand use of social workers, consider students of color
  • Increase access to mental health services in schools: LSSPS, community-based providers, and community mental health services
  • Prioritize prevention and intervention rather than discipline; account for COVID-19 as well as any disabilities a student may have
  • Address structural racism and its effects on students/ address racial trauma


Texas Criminal Justice Coalition et al.

  • Crucial time for legislators to ensure schools have means to effectively and equitably implement evidence-based practices that meet increased behavioral and mental health needs of students
  • Recommends prioritizing mental health and school climate by narrowing uses of SSA in 2021-23 biennium and using federal funds in supportive systems rather than hardening measures
  • Create district plans for implementation of the Safe and Supportive Schools Program (SSSP) by prioritizing the allotment of full-time employees toward mental health support
  • Employees may include social workers and restorative justice coordinators
  • Recommend district-wide training for culturally inclusive, trauma-informed care and positive school climate building
  • Amplifying emergency response capacities may serve to harm communities of color within schools
  • Require greater data transparency by publishing reports about the funding allocations in each district


Holly Eaton, Texas Classroom Teachers Association 1[A]

  • TEA has over reached and disregarded TCTA recommendations
  • TCTA recommends delaying the implementation of the teacher incentive pay program
  • Recommends retaining funding for the program for teacher compensation and revising the teacher designation system used to distribute the allotment
  • The state should provide additional finance resources so that districts can continue raising compensation, especially in light of rising health insurance costs
  • The expansion and replication of more expensive and less effective charter schools should be slowed and stopped
  • Funding that has been devoted to them should be reinjected into public-school system
  • SB 11 and HB 18 & 19 fail to provide financial resources for and promoting school-based mental health professionals
  • Not in support of commissioners newly proposed rules
  • Recommend that high stakes consequences for students, teachers, districts, and campuses, as well as A-F rating system, be suspended for the current school year
  • Recommend any sort of “grading” of districts or campuses should encompass how they are modifying practices to respond to student needs, and providing support and resources to those most in need


Holly Eaton, Texas Classroom Teachers Association 1[B]

  • COVID-19 has made it essentially impossible to continue accountability measures with any true reflection of performance
  • Recommends, considering the disruptions caused by the pandemic, rescinding and revising policies accordingly
  • Believes A-F rating system was never effective and has only served as ranking and sorting of schools and districts
  • With election, seems wise to wait on long-term contractual obligations for state standardized testing as requirements may change
  • If state testing must continue during this year, suggest limiting contracts to 1 year
  • Suggests high stakes consequences that normally pair with testing and A0F ratings be suspended for the current year
  • There should be accountability, but there needs to be real solutions such as struggling students being places in smaller classes, underperforming students should be paired with teachers that are certified in specific instruction area
  • Grading should focus on what is being done to improve these campuses
  • If charter alliances continue, only high performing charters that are not using the alternative accountability system should be eligible


Pamela McPeters, Texas Classroom Teachers Association 1[C-F]

  • Asserts there must be coordinated systems for referring and addressing mental health challenges on campus
  • Students with mental health concerns are more likely to have issues with meeting demands at school, home, and in social life
  • SB 11 and HB 18 &19 overlook the need for providing financial resources for and promoting school-based mental health professionals
  • Teachers cannot address behavioral health challenges alone; they need to be able to consult and refer students to school-based mental health professionals
  • Expresses concerns with SB 11 and the Commissioner’s misuse of rulemaking power
  • Suggests that there are changes in SB 11 that would affect HB 18 which the Commissioner does not have authority over
  • There are discrepancies between the level of programming for mental health that is required for schools vs. how much is covered in funding and required


Lonnie F. Hollingsworth Jr., Texas Classroom Teachers Association 1[Questions]

  • Recommends delaying implementation of the teacher incentive pay program, retaining funding for teacher compensation and revising teacher designation system to distribute the allotment
  • Remarks that there is no transparency with TIA and its funding
  • Incentive system is tied to STAAR because of the student growth measures required by TEA; also difficult to apply to SPED teachers
  • School closures in 2020 make student growth for 2019-2020 almost impossible to ascertain
  • More years of data are needed to make appropriate conclusions about teacher effectiveness
  • Recommends legislature revise the teacher designation system before districts have implemented and committed to any funding under current statutes and TEA rules
  • They interpret HB 3 as requiring a permanent increase, although clarifications would be helpful
  • Suggests it is demoralizing to ask teachers to do more and cut their pay with ongoing circumstances
  • Suggests state provide additional financial resources so that districts continue raising compensation, especially with increasing health insurance costs
  • If state funding for HB 3 remains the same, the tax cap should not be an issue
  • Expansion and replication of more expensive and less effective charter schools should be slowed and stopped
  • Funding devoted to them should be reinjected to traditional public school system


Texas Education Agency [HB 22 and HB 1842]

  • Clear performance information helps students, need easy access to information regarding school and district performance
  • STAAR was cancelled and accountability ratings were not issued due to pandemic
  • Outlines data on A-F accountability for most recent year with data
  • States student poverty is not a strong factor in how a campus was rated
  • Outlines statutes for the rating system and actions required depending on rating
  • Current statutory language creates inconsistency for:
    • When a “D” rating will result in an intervention
    • What interventions are required when a district or campus receives an overall “D” rating
    • What interventions are required when a district or campus receives a rating of “D” or “F”
  • Recommends clarifying D interventions
    • A “D” does not break chain of consecutive poor performance
    • First “D” does not contribute to chain of consecutive poor performance
    • No mandatory closure or BOM in a year assigned a “D” rating
    • Interventions based only on overall performance; as opposed to domain
  • Recommends aligning ancillary impacts of “D” rating
    • Clarify intersection of “D” rating with other accountability references like Charter three strikes rule, DOI eligibility, etc.
    • Provide transition language regarding previous “D” ratings and clarification of “D” rating


Texas Education Agency [SB 1873]

  • Cannot comment on whether districts have altered PE offerings due to the report, TEA does not have the capacity to ensure changes or best practices implemented by all of the districts
  • TEA program staff does not have access to the information until Feb. and typically takes about three years for data to be reliable
  • Agency does not have the ability to ensure changes or best practices are implemented by all the districts
  • Current statute prevents student-level data from being reported to TEA relating to Fitnessgram
  • SB 1873 requires the commissioner of education to complete a report on PE provided by each school district, publish on TEA website, and include outlined necessities
  • Statewide ratio of students enrolled in P.E. classes compared to overall district enrollment is 27:50
  • Roughly 63% of PE teachers have standard certifications, 96.6% indicate campuses have appropriate equipment and adequate facilities
  • 2% of respondents claim districts allow for modifications or accommodations to meet the needs of students with disabilities
  • 1% of respondents indicate districts do not have a policy to enforce physical activity as a punishment
  • Typical transition period to refine new data collection in TSDS PEIMS is three to five years
  • Has recently presented best practices at TSDS PEIMS training conference to improve the data collection


Texas Education Agency [SB 1882]

  • Data outcomes on partnerships only exist for the first year of the first cohort, claims turnaround work is far more difficult than new campus launches
  • Partnerships can be replicated within and across districts
  • Describes district charter partnerships, SB 1882 incentivized these partnerships and grants Commissioner authority to adopt rules as necessary to administer this process
  • District boards can grant charters to different people and services including campus’ and parent/teachers
  • Criteria for SB 1882 Benefits Eligibility include:
  • The district vetting their potential partner aligned to charter authorizing best practices
  • Majority of board members of operating partner are independent of district
  • Operating partner has staff and expertise necessary to manage the campus
  • Performance contract includes consequences, clear autonomies, and performance expectations
  • Has a drastic financial and accountability benefit to districts
  • Some SB 1882 partnerships receive additional state funding, typically applicable to large/urban districts, ~$850 per student
  • TEA does not approve partnerships, they determine if partnerships approved by districts meet criteria to get benefits
  • Outlines agency supports for districts authorizing SB 1882 partnerships, describes eligible entities for district partnerships and types of partnerships, provides examples of these partnerships
  • 21 districts across Texas have authorized, 39 partner organizations to operate, 102 partnership campuses
  • Two districts, Longview and San Antonio, will receive just over half of the $42,213,880 total benefits to support 38% of approved campuses
  • Total projected benefits of 2020-2021 equals approximately 0.2% of the total FSP
  • Recommends reducing the size of the benefit by considering cap per student
  • Suggests making the benefit available to rural districts; use a fixed amount per student available for all ISDs
  • Recommends making out-year financial benefits dependent upon performance; for turnarounds, require improvements in performance for payment after year 3 of operation
  • For innovation of new schools, require performance at an A or B level for payment after year 3 of operation
  • Differentiate initial benefit size by partner experience with record of success; consider a sliding scale: experienced partners earn the district more per pupil than new operators
  • Recommends clarifying requirements for district oversight of partner and contracts; require that the district’s authorizing practices be certified by a third party in order to be eligible for benefits


Texas Education Agency [SB 11, HB 906, HB 19]

  • Strengthens safety and emergency protocols, expands mental health initiatives, and provides funding for schools to increase safety and security on campus
  • In progress of implementing:
  • Rules to establish safe and supportive school programs, including behavioral threat assessment
  • Collect data on behavioral threat assessment implementation, promulgate rules on school safety facility standards, and develop statewide plan for student mental health
  • HB 906 aims to implement a School Mental Health Task Force
  • HB 18 strengthens district requirements to implement trauma-informed approaches and address student mental health
  • HB 19 requires a mental health professional from the LMHA to be placed in each ESC
  • Safe and Supportive Program rules effective now, Fall 2020; will be submitting baseline data to TEA
  • School Safety Allotment appropriated $100M for the biennium, incorporated into 2019-2020 FSP amounts
  • Review of School Safety Grants: 97% of districts applied, all received funding. $100M provided in SB 500, awards ranging from $25K-$3M for districts
  • Completed Mandatory Drills requirement
  • Facility Standards established by TEA for secure and safe environments will be effective early 2021
  • Mental Health Resource Lists were posted Mar. 2020, statewide Mental and Behavioral Health Best Practice List complete and posted Aug. 2020, statewide Plan for Student Mental Health in progress and will be completed Fall 2020
  • Recommend make behavioral threat assessment data collection
  • Name TEA as a standing member of the Mental Health Children’s Consortium and add a TEA representative to the executive committee of the Consortium
  • Recommend a clean up of technical align between SB 11 with HB 3 statutory references
    • School Safety Allotment is currently the only item remaining in Ch. 42
    • School finance formulas have moved to Ch. 48
  • Additional Federal Funding Secured by TEA for School Safety
    • $1,265,600 in total grants distributed to ESCs to support mental health and wrap around services
    • $8,996,096 for Project AWARE
  • Trauma-Informed practices—Commissioner of Education Rule integrated into Safe and Supportive School Program rules
  • Continuing Education for Classroom Teachers: adds required instruction to continuing education for teachers to include how grief and trauma affect student learning and behavior
    • Discussed as proposed revision to 19 TAC Chapter 232, General certification provisions during the Dec. 6, 2019 SBEC meeting
  • Curriculum changes: adds mental health and suicide prevention to the health curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted by SBOE; revisions to the health TEKS are to be adopted in Nov. 2020
  • Digital Citizenship: SBOE require districts incorporate digital citizenship instruction into curriculum; revisions to the technology applications TEKS scheduled to be adopted in June 2021


Texas Education Agency [HB 3]

  • TEA’s current estimates project the cost to the state will be $88M for this biennium – savings of $58M for the biennium
  • Agency communicated to field that HB 3 provisions were intended to provide permanent increases in teacher pay
  • For chapter 21 positions, pay cannot be characterized as supplemental for duty that isn’t supplemental to avoid statutory requirements to maintain rates of pay across contract terms
  • Teachers cannot receive a lower minimum salary from one year to the next
  • District one-time compensation increases for HB 3, despite guidance and prohibitions above, Sec. 21.402(e-1) would not require district to carry that compensation forward
  • The current FSP formulas should continue to provide similar levels of revenue to districts, assuming similar levels of enrollment, to maintain salary increases from HB 3
  • Tax compression does not impact a district’s budget bottom line or impact amount of revenue available in a district to maintain salary increases previously granted
  • Tax compression impacts amount of state funding that required under the FSP formulas by legislature in the aggregate, relative to amount of property tax used to finance FSP formulas
  • HB 3 infused $2.7 billion of net revenue into district budgets
  • Reviews HB 3 program highlights
  • Funding increase on average – $530 per ADA
  • TEA has completed of is in the process of completing 37 of 55 rules relating to HB 3
  • Overviews HB 3 Advisory Committees
  • Reviews Teacher Mentor Program Allotment: 67 districts approved receiving $1,800 per mentee
  • Reviews TIA: funding ranges from $3k-$32k per teacher per year, 90% of these funds must be spent on teacher compensation
    • Distributed $40m to about 3,650 teachers across 26 districts; additional 277 National Board teachers were designated at 14 districts
  • Reviews progress on Do Not Hire Registry: 1,850 former educators and employees on registry, launched March of 2020
  • Reviews progress on Early Education Allotment: funding amount for 2019-2020 is $796M, estimated for 2020-2021 is $800M could be significantly less depending on enrollment due to COVID-19
  • Reviews progress on Full-Day Pre-K: 2019-2020 school year 249,226 students are enrolled, TEA approved 192 full day Pre-K waivers
  • Reviews progress on Improving Reading outcomes: TEA established Reading Standards Advisory Board in October 2019, reading academies: 20,000+ educators strengthening reading practices
  • LEAs were unable to implement TX-KEA or mCLASS Texas in 2020-2021
  • Reviews progress on Dyslexia Allotment: final Dyslexia Allotment for the 2019-2020 school year of $136M, slightly higher than $125M estimate
  • Reviews progress on Dual Language Programs: 2019-2020 allotment is $199M, less than the $218M legislative estimate
  • Reviews progress on Preparing New Teachers: reviews new testing/content review requirements
  • Reviews Blending Learning Grant Program: 2019 BLGP awarded to 25 of 41 applicants, expected to increase due to COVID-19
  • Reviews CCMR plans: progress measures will be extended until Jan. 31, 2021
  • Reviews Outcomes Bonus and CTE Funding Expansion: CCMR Outcomes Bonus amount is $225M, one free college and one free industry entrance exam per students before graduation
  • Reviews SPED Increased Resources, Planning and Training: committee report expected to be submitted Sep. 2020, 2019-2020 increased by $52M above what it would be at normal weight
  • Reviews Additional Instructional Days, launched a survey to estimate use and cost on Sep. 15th, will not know actual cost for FY2021 until Fall 2021
  • Reviews Comp Ed: increased from 0.20 to a range of 0.225-0.275 per student, allotment was $5.09B compared to $5.15B estimated
  • Reviews Fast Growth Allotment of 0.04 for each student in ADA
  • Reviews progress on Gifted and Talented: funded within the district’s basic allotment is $6,160, continue to report expenditures, district has to certify compliant program
  • Reviews Transportation Funding Changes: spent $284M instead of estimated $460M because buses stopped running with COVID-19
  • Reviews reducing impact of Recapture: 2019-2020 reduced from $3.82B under prior law to 2.43B under HB 3; 36% reduction
  • Reviews Formula Transition Grants: 284 LEAs received $441M in FTG for 2019-2020 school year, substantially higher than estimate due to unprecedented property value growth
  • Reviews M&O Taxes before and after HB 3
  • TEA will know how many districts increased their Tier Two pennies in Feb. 2021
  • Overviews Unintended Consequences
    • PTECH and New Tech Funding
    • Formula funding for SPED for Open-Enrollment Charters
    • Regional Education Service Center Staff Supplement
    • Taxes: incorporating first year tax relief into tax compression, local property values used to calculate local compression, compressing taxes limited to the 90% differential

Teach Plus Fellows Group

  • In support of TIA which encourages all effective teachers to stay in the classroom
  • TIA helps encourage the best teachers to move into more challenging classrooms to teach previously underserved students
  • Continue funding the allotment in its entirety to continue the state’s dedication to equity, ensuring that historically underserved Texas students have access to the best schools and teachers
  • An equitable distribution of highly effective educators is crucial to closing gaps further exacerbated by COVID-learning loss


Dena Donaldson, Texas AFT 1[A]

  • HB 3 begins the process of addressing necessary educator salary adjustments by expanding the Basic Allotment; if salary gains are not carried forward, more teachers will likely leave
  • TIA was presented as a means to keep the best teachers, but there are significant flaws
  • TIA will benefit fewer than 1% of Texas teachers and only 26 districts are benefitting, 12 of which are charters
  • While HB 3 forbade form requiring test scores to be used to determine these districts, they play a large role in selecting the campuses
    • In Dallas ISD, one-third of a teacher’s score is based on testing; many issues with this
    • Incentive systems based on testing discourage teaching struggling students, unfairly compensate teachers, cause high turnover and low morale, and encourage teaching to the test
  • Work is not done until teacher salaries meet/exceed national average; “merit pay” does not create the incentives sought
  • Strongly supports National Board Certification to reward teachers
  • Many states provide stipends for NBCT teachers; studies show students taught by these teachers are more successful
  • Higher base salaries for all Texas teachers are required for better public schools
  • States should not use its limited resources to keep tax rates low in high-wealth districts; should instead:
    • Ensure funding for future adjustments for inflation and student growth
    • Guarantee public school worker salary raises can be maintained
    • TIA should be reserved as an incentive for teachers pursuing NBST
    • Maintain increased funding weights for SPED and ELL


Dena Donaldson, Texas AFT 1[B]

  • HB 1842 made it easier for the state to take over schools in the name of school improvement
  • Broadened Commissioner of Education’s authority to dissolve locally elected school boards and replace them with a board of managers if one school in a district is not meeting standards
  • SB 1882 has become a tool for privatization and a way for charters to expand across the state, presented as a lifeline for districts
  • TEA adopted new rules expanding charter operators’ power in SB 1882 partnerships without showing the partnerships are good for Texas students; two major concerns include:
  • Potential increased funding in inequities within districts will arise
  • New rules will govern boards independent of schools’ campus budgets, setting up a separate level of governance that is not held to the same standards as a traditionally elected school board
  • Recommends the following alternatives to state takeover policies and privatization:
  • States should adopt community-based turnaround efforts instead of state turnarounds or private partnerships
  • States should explore options that treat local districts as the democratic entities they were intended to be


Michael Lee & Leigh Ann Glaze, Texas Association of Rural Schools 1[A]

  • In regard to the Commissioner and his process of resolving unintended consequences of HB 3, he was very inconsistent and only addressed issues that were important to him
  • Smaller, and rural, school districts have suffered from unintended CTE consequences
  • The TIA is not high up on priority list until budget situation is straightened out and economy returns
  • School safety and health has been underfunded; are in need of more regulatory requirements


Texas School Alliance 1[A-B]

  • HB 22 intended there be a difference between a D and F rating; May 2020 TEA adopted three rules into the Accountability Manual that allows a D rating to be treated as an F rating
  • Forced Failure Rule forces a campus to receive an F rating even if the campus was not an F based on mathematical results of the adopted scoring system
  • Requests for this rule to be removed from the Accountability Manual
  • HB 3 requires an institution of higher education determine the readability levels of STARR questions and passages in grades 3-8; TEA selected UT Meadows Center to conduct the study
  • Study concluded most reading and writing passages were appropriately difficult; previous studies and literary experts disagree with the Meadows Center’s study
    • Note study was incomplete and not peer reviewed, did not utilize Lexile measures, incomplete data was used to score passages, and methodology was not shared
  • Requests the committee remove any rules from the 2020 Accountability Manual that are in conflict with legislative intent
  • Requests an independent, peer-reviewed study is conducted to determine if the reading and writing passages on the 2019 and 2020 STAAR were/were not written on grade level


John Hryhorchuk, Texas 2036 1[A]

  • HB 3 was specifically tailored to address achievement gaps and, now more than ever, it is important to follow through on these reforms to address COVID-related learning loss
  • Texas needs a stable commitment to data-proven educational reform, without this it will be hard to achieve economic growth and maintain tax revenues
  • HB 3 represents one of the most serious successes by the Texas Legislature to address systemic inequality; legislature should not walk away from this civil rights achievement
  • Important to follow through on funding HB 3 as it is important in to achieving closing the socioeconomic gaps apparent in Texas


John Hryhorchuk, Texas 2036 Q[1]

  • Texas cannot afford to delay implementation of the TIA until next biennium; urges the legislators to stand by their previous commitment to this initiative
  • Delaying or abandoning strategic compensation programs can have immediate, negative consequences to students/campuses
  • Teachers working at high-poverty campuses are 66% more likely to be in their first-year teaching, 21% less likely to hold a master’s degree or higher
  • COVID-19 has increased the urgency for implementing the TIA for the following reasons:
  • The pandemic is exposing and worsening already present challenges relating to educational attainment; 32-42% of all jobs eliminated during the pandemic will not return
  • Has had devastating effects on student learning in Texas, and has severely impacted student’s retention
  • Has created massive education/workforce challenges, decreased state’s ability to address those very challenges, and Texas will have revenue shortfall in FY 2021


Robert Carreon, Teach for America Texas

  • Provides personal anecdotes of educators who would be subject to the TIA
  • If the legislature suspends or delays implementation of the TIA in 2021, talented educators will miss out on the opportunity to grow their salary in recognition of their talent
  • The Teacher Incentive Allotment is a powerful tool in securing a stronger future for Texas; TIA can help recognize/reward effective and hardworking educators


Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition

  • HB 1842 broadened the Commissioner of Education’s authority to intervene upon school districts as part of the state accountability system
  • State-appointed management over public school districts in the name of school improvement are an ineffective intervention
    • Seldom result in demonstratable academic improvement in the district
    • Often unfairly leveraged to manage districted governed by a board that is populated by a majority of people of color and/or serve a majority of students of color
  • Houston ISD and Harlandale ISD are provided as examples of districts in which state intervention was ineffective
  • Recommend the provisions of HB 1842 and other components of the TEC, Chapter 39, that facilitate “state takeovers” of local school districts should be revisited and modified to incorporate community-based turnaround measures that include holistic, wraparound services to better support schools with various issues that impact students’ performance
  • This type of evidence-bade model has shown to facilitate grassroots changes for far-reaching educational improvements


Texas Music Educators Association

  • Recommend including arts education in the Texas accountability system and fine arts in the foundational curriculum requirements
  • Data suggests access to the Creative Arts makes significant and positive changes in brain development, social/emotional regulation, and academic performance
  • Recommend study the impact of music and arts education on the lives of children along with the current availability of arts education programs across the state
  • At a minimum, need to include an arts education indicator for all campuses
  • Need to include an arts education indicator as a part of the College, Career, and Military Readiness indicators
  • Need to include the number of “students who successfully complete a …coherent sequence of fine arts courses” in the accountability system as was originally proposed in HB 22


Starlee Coleman, Texas Public Charter Schools Association 1[A]

  • Urges the legislature to protect the key elements of HB 3 and avoid implementation delays to the greatest extent possible despite COVID-19 related pressures
  • Investment lawmakers promised for public education is critical to long-term prosperity
  • Charter schools serve a disproportionate share of the state’s low-income and minority students; HB 3 invests in these groups, and now charters are sending more of these students to college
  • Lawmakers and state agencies must ensure charters are treated fairly during all decision making surrounding the structure or implementation of HB 3
  • TEA implementing the Teacher Incentive Allotment in a series of cohorts
  • Cohort A and B are far enough along in the process to promise educators at selected campuses additional compensation beyond their base pay
    • Cohort A is comprised of 26 districts, 12 of which are charter districts
  • TIA was used at 783, almost 100%, of charter campuses statewide and have received $30.2 million in TIA funding for 2019-2020
  • Average charter receives about 5% more per highly-rated teacher via TIA than the average ISD because charters are more densely concentrated in lower-income areas
  • TIA helps charters recognize and reward great teachers of color who serve their communities
  • Cohorts C and D are in the early planning stages of their local designation systems; if TIA funds are delayed, urge lawmakers to exempt Cohorts A and B from that decision


Starlee Coleman, Texas Public Charter Schools Association 1[B]

  • Strongly advocates for an additional year of waivers where A-F ratings are not applied, meaning sanctions are not issued
  • Many decisions about charter renewals/expansion amendments rely heavily on A-F ratings
  • Charter schools need certainty that renewal/expansion decisions will be used on an array of data available to TEA that creates an accurate picture of individual school performance
  • SB 1882 granted school districts the ability to contract to partner with an open-enrollment charter school to operate a district campus
  • Overviews such partnerships between ResponsiveED & Beaumont ISD and Transformation Waco & Waco ISD
  • Responsive Ed and Transformation Waco are key programs that have been implanted set to assist struggling programs that will hopefully be adopted district wide
  • Supports adequate funding for all public schools and transformative policies that allow for partnerships between districts and open enrollment charter schools
  • Performance contracts must allow for the flexibility to immediately make changes that directly affect student outcomes and continue to reassess to refocus the goals
  • Partnerships such as IDEA Public Schools at IDEA Travis Elementary and Midland ISD have implemented sustainable metrics to ensure student achievement and growth
  • Spring Branch, KIPP Texas and YES Prep’s SKY Partnership provides additional options for students and can increase post-secondary progress within Spring ISD
  • Strongly advocates for and asks legislators for continued support of these partnerships


Emily Sass, Texas Public Policy Foundation 1[A]

  • 5% tax cap ensures the promise the 86th legislature made to reduce property taxes and only related to a select portion of school district finances
  • Tax year 2020, district boards also have the option to increase their enrichment rates by an additional gold penny through a unanimous board vote
  • TRE efficiency audits will help districts examine spending habits; no reason to believe 2.5% limitation will prevent districts from being able to provide to their workforces
  • Recommends legislature should build on the success of the 2.5% limitation by further reducing the rate of growth, control I&S tax rate increases, and eliminate school M&O property tax
  • Will eventually cut property tax burden in half and eliminate Robin Hood
  • TEA and the Texas Supreme Court recognize there is no significant relationship between spending and education outcomes
  • Recommends the legislature prioritize the continuation and development of district programs that align with the TIA and support instructional excellence, especially in high-needs schools
  • Recommends preserving the property tax relief provided to Texas voters last session by retaining limitations on local property tax increases


Emily Sass, Texas Public Policy Foundation 1[B]

  • SB 1882 created partnerships that offer opportunities for local districts to seek solutions for struggling campuses while maintaining local control
  • Partnerships have helped bring ACE turnaround strategies to new districts, consolidated rural districts and HE resources, and offered pivotal programs to underserved communities


Texas State Teachers Association & National Education Association 1[A]

  • Serious concern over use of high stakes standardized tests in accountability measures
  • High-stake testing can take away from valuable classroom time and can become very costly
  • Urges committee to change testing in Texas public schools to instruments that focus on diagnostic screening at the start of the school year in order to inform teachers of students’ instructional needs
  • Urges committee to suspend the A-F grading system for the 2020-21 school year and move towards its repeal
  • Urges the committee to support the repeal of SB 1882 and ensure that charter operators are not allowed to take control over public school campuses
  • Should have an educator compensation plan that includes sustainable funding based upon a respectable starting salary with meaningful step increases and:
    • Rewards both longevity and professional growth
    • Includes stable and predictable health and retirement benefits


Texas State Teachers Association & National Education Association 1[B]

  • Urges Legislature to abolish or drastically reduce STAAR Testing dominance when it comes to state school’s accountability ratings
  • For 2020-2021 alone, the contract for the primary test administrator is approximately 73 million
  • Recommends change in testing in public schools to instruments that focus on diagnostic screening to inform teachers of student’s instructional needs
  • Believes standardized test scores are an incomplete and misleading way to measure student success
  • Recommends suspending the A-F grading system for the 2020-21 school year and move towards its appeal
  • Recommends Legislature commit to reigning in the Commissioner’s authority on the matter and ensure the community and public-school teacher jobs are protected
  • Recommends the repeal of SB 1882 while ensuring the charter operators are not allowed to take control of public-school campuses


Texas School Coalition

  • Concern over the long-term sustainability of the state funding needed to pay for continued compression in property tax rates
  • Suggest a moratorium on property tax rate compression until the state’s economy has recovered and those investments can be made
  • If legislators must make difficult budgetary decisions, hope that ongoing costs for additional programs such as these will be suspended temporarily to ensure funding is available for more of the core constructional program funded by the school finance formulas
  • Schools need to continue receiving the full state funding amounts called for in HB 3


Susan Kincannon, Waco ISD

  • Strongly urge the Texas Legislature to continue the TIA current and projected funding level as-is, without any deferment
  • The incentive that TIA provides to teach in a district where a large percentage of students are experiencing poverty is another tool to retain their best teachers


Sarah Landsman, YES Prep 1[B]

  • Request the Texas Legislature’s support in the creation and development of SB 1882 partnerships during the 87th legislative session
  • Through these collaborative partnerships they have seen dramatic improvements in student outcomes
  • Students participating in the SKY partnership are outpacing peers in STAAR scores


Sarah Landsman, YES Prep Q[1]

  • Strongly urges House Public Education and Legislature to continue the Teacher Incentive Allotment’s funds without any deferment
  • 2% of YES Prep students are economically disadvantaged
  • Invested 28k of own funds to cover the initial cost of designation of teachers
  • Asks that 87th Legislature follow through on its commitment by funding the Teacher Incentive Allotment in full