The House is in the final days of debating House bills. Thursday is the last day that the House can consider most House bills (“consent” bills with no objections can be considered Friday). However, the calendars this week have been long and debates have extended for hours, resulting in unfinished calendars and delayed bills. Practically speaking, many bills that have been scheduled for a calendar but have not yet passed are unlikely to survive the week.
The following bills passed the House on a final House vote, and will move to the Senate.
- TCTA-initiated HB 750 would require districts to post employment regulations and forms online so that they will be accessible to employees.
- HB 1613 by Rep. Ray Lopez would move the current deadline for attending a literacy achievement academy from the 2021-22 school year to the 2023-24 school year.
- HB 3819 by Rep. Stephanie Klick amends current law regarding school nurses administering asthma medication to allow such administration not only if the student has been diagnosed with asthma, as under current law, but if the student presents with signs and symptoms of asthma.
- SCR 17 by Sen. Bryan Hughes urges Congress to repeal the Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination Provision, the two federal laws that reduce or eliminate Social Security benefits for most Texas teachers. I
- HB 2688 by Rep. Gary VanDeaver provides that if a school board trustee votes to approve a severance package for a superintendent within a year of hiring the superintendent, extending the superintendent's contract or increasing the superintendent's salary, that trustee must run for re-election at the next regular election if he/she wishes to remain on the board.
- HB 3485 by Rep. Vikki Goodwin requires PEIMS reporting of a number of different types of disciplinary actions. TCTA worked with the author to revise her bill to address our concerns about a provision to require reporting of teacher discretionary removals. TCTA had initiated successful legislation in the past to prohibit such reporting out of concern that it would have a chilling effect on a teacher’s ability to maintain an effective learning environment.
- HB 3979 by Rep. Steve Toth has received much attention recently. It is based on legislation from other states that would ban instruction in “critical race theory” and extends further into requirements regarding social studies instruction, such as prohibiting a district from requiring a teacher to teach current events. The bill was revised by 20 floor amendments, so the amended version will need to be re-examined for its full impact. After a great deal of discussion both Monday and Tuesday, the bill passed the House on a final vote of 79-65.