The State Board of Education continued its progress on implementation of HB 1605 and the new Instructional Materials Review and Adoption (IMRA) process at its November meeting. First, however, the SBOE considered and approved science, technology applications, personal financial literacy, and CTE programs for Proclamation 2024, the last review that will take place under the existing state adoption rules. A list of SBOE approved programs may be found here. Several programs that had been recommended by educator panels were rejected by the SBOE based on concerns about suitability, TEKS coverage, errors, and results of the Texas Resource Review.

According to the timeline for the new IMRA process, the SBOE must consider and approve rubrics for the review and rules governing the review process between January and April 2024. At a previous meeting, the SBOE prioritized K-8 English and Spanish Language Arts and K-12 mathematics as the first subject areas for review. At the November meeting, TEA staff presented draft rubrics for these subject areas. These draft rubrics have been posted for public comment, with comments due by Dec. 15. In November, TEA staff hosted webinars for ESC staff, educators, and publishers to provide feedback on the rubrics. To review the rubrics, make comments, or view the slides and recordings from focus groups, visit the Texas Resource Review website and note the announcement at the top of the page. At a specially called meeting December 13, the SBOE will consider the feedback and revisions to the rubrics, with final approval tentatively scheduled for the January 2024 meeting.

New rules must be developed for the IMRA process and will be added to the Texas Education Code in a new Chapter 67. The rules will outline how the SBOE will approach the review and approval process, including consideration of suitability and adherence with all applicable statutes. The SBOE will determine the percentage of TEKS coverage that will be required for each subject area and grade level. Publishers will also be asked to comply with requirements for a parent portal to review the instructional materials their student uses.

Once instructional materials are reviewed using the new IMRA process, tentatively during the summer of 2024, the SBOE will consider final approval of programs recommended by educator review teams. It’s anticipated that the SBOE will vote on a recommended list of programs at its November 2024 meeting, so that districts may review locally and select reading and math programs for use in the 2024-25 school year. In addition to its base level Instructional Materials and Technology Allotment funding, school districts will then be able to access the additional $40/student available through HB 1605 for SBOE approved instructional materials.

Districts may still choose to use their IMTA funds as they wish and will not be required to purchase SBOE approved products, but the additional funding is only available for approved products. Districts will now be required to report to TEA annually information regarding the instructional materials purchased and the cost. Open education resources must also be submitted through the IMRA process and approved by the SBOE. Once approved, open education resources available for free online through TEA will qualify for an additional $20/student to fund printing costs. Many questions remain to be answered, including how and when supplemental resources for phonics and handwriting will be reviewed.

As this process continues to develop, the TEA HB 1605 website provides resources that will keep educators informed on the new Instructional Materials Review and Adoption process.