The House Public Education Committee heard 30 bills in another long meeting Tuesday. Among the bills were three (HB 764 by Rep. Matt Krause, HB 2800 by Rep. Jay Dean, and HB 3668 by Rep. Gary VanDeaver) that would reduce the amount of STAAR testing by eliminating tests in excess of those required by federal law (such as writing and social studies). Former House Public Education Committee chair Dan Huberty weighed in against the concept, arguing that subjects such as social studies are important and schools should be held accountable, while Rep. James Talarico supported the idea, expressing concern about the “real-time experiment” the state is performing on student mental health through the high-stakes nature of the tests.
Others on the agenda ranged from HB 24 by Rep. Alex Dominguez, requiring districts to provide at least one playground that would be inclusive and accessible to students with disabilities, to a civics bill that would have prevented districts or the state from requiring teachers to discuss current events or controversial topics (HB 3979 by Rep. Steve Toth).
TCTA testified in favor of a TCTA-initiated bill, HB 750 by Rep. DeWayne Burns, that would require districts to post employment policies and related regulations and forms on their website.
All bills were left pending.