At the August State Board of Education meeting, members devoted more than a day to discussing the implications of the extensive changes to instructional materials procurement resulting from the passage of House Bill 1605 in the 88th session of the Texas Legislature. Commissioner Morath presented a summary of key decision points and projected timelines, accompanied by two new TEA staff members: Nicholas Keith, Executive Director of High Quality Instructional Materials Implementation Supports, and Dr. Todd Davis, Interim Associate Commissioner, Instructional Strategy. The consensus on initial priorities will determine the next steps for future meetings.

Regarding Proclamation 2024, which includes K-12 science, technology applications, and CTE courses, the SBOE ultimately recommended the Commissioner move forward with the current processes for SBOE Review and Approval. With the new science TEKS taking effect during the 24-25 school year, districts will have to certify to the state that they have instructional materials aligned to the new science TEKS. At the November SBOE meeting, the Board will consider giving final approval to the programs recommended by the State Review Panels, so that districts can complete local reviews and order materials for the 24-25 school year. Instructional materials adopted under Proclamation 2024 will not be eligible for the additional $40/student funding allocated under HB 1605; however, the Instructional Materials and Technology Allotment (IMTA) may be used to purchase these resources, or supplemental resources, in keeping with current allowable expenditures for the IMTA. While there was some consideration given to trying to combine Proclamation 2024 with the new IMRA process in order to access the additional funding, the SBOE gave a higher priority to ensuring science materials aligned to the new TEKS were available for implementation before the 24-25 school year.

Math K-12 and Reading Language Arts K-5 are the Board’s priorities for review under the new Instructional Materials Review and Adoption (IMRA) process resulting from HB 1605. These priorities were determined due to current math contracts being the next to expire, and new reading/language arts requirements for phonics instruction, word lists, and novels.  The SBOE directed Texas Education Agency staff to begin the process of developing rubrics for qualitative content reviews for reading and math. These rubrics will be considered by the SBOE at the November meeting, with a likely December meeting to be added to the schedule to give the SBOE additional time for review and approval. The SBOE will also have to consider and approve the minimum percentage of TEKS coverage for the new IMRA process, as well as develop a rubric for “suitability,” which may include requirements related to appropriateness of content and factual errors. Rules for complying with the parent portal requirements of HB 1605 will also need to be developed and approved. Finally, the SBOE will need to develop and adopt rules for state review, selection, and consideration of public comments related to instructional materials. The goal is to accomplish this by the April 2024 meeting, so that the new IMRA process can begin in May of 2024. Reading and math instructional materials adopted through the new IMRA process in 2024 will be the first instructional resources eligible for the additional $40/student allotment available through HB 1605, and will be purchased and implemented for the 24-25 school year.

SBOE members discussed the importance of input from stakeholders—district administrators, curriculum leaders, educators, and parents–to guide them in their rulemaking over the next few months as they work to thoughtfully implement the changes called for in HB 1605.

Access the meeting recording for the Committee of the Full Board on August 29 and 30 at this link: Texas Education Agency – Texas – Admin Monitor