TCTA | Education bills set on Thursday House calendar
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Education bills set on Thursday House calendar

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Three education-related bills are set for House floor consideration Thursday, Sep. 2.

SB 3 (commonly referred to as the critical race theory, or CRT, bill) includes revisions to HB 3979 from the regular session. Among other provisions, it says that “a teacher may not be required to discuss a particular current event event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs,” and that if the teacher chooses to do so, they must try to explore the topic from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective. Schools/teachers are not allowed to require or give credit for certain student advocacy activities, such as working with an organization that lobbies, or contacting legislators to try to persuade them to take an action.

SB 9 addresses how schools provide instruction relating to child abuse, family violence and dating violence. Districts must make available all curriculum materials used, and the local school health advisory councils will be involved in the selection of course materials. Parents must be given an opportunity to opt their child out of any such instruction.

HB 233 amends sections of the new law requiring students who perform unsatisfactorily on state assessments to receive accelerated instruction (HB 4545 from the regular session). It limits the state assessments that can trigger the requirements to math and reading, and provides that the instruction is required after a student fails the assessment on two consecutive attempts. Accelerated instruction groups, currently limited to three students, would be limited to 10 students in the current year and in subsequent years would be capped at four. The commissioner can waive the requirements for a district in which at least 60% of the students who received accelerated instruction performed satisfactorily the next year.