Patrick releases interim charges for Senate | TCTA
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Patrick releases interim charges for Senate

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Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick included 57 items on a to-do list for state Senate committees before the start of the 89th Texas Legislature in January.

“Come January 2025, the Senate will hit the ground running at the start of the 89th Legislative Session,” Patrick said in a statement. “The priorities of the conservative majority of Texans will be accomplished, including school choice, continued property tax relief, and strengthening the power grid.”

According to the latest estimate from the state comptroller, Texas lawmakers are projected to have approximately $21.3 billion in available revenue at the outset of session, which begins Jan. 14, 2025.

Patrick's interim charges for the Senate Education Committee include:

  • Reading and Math Readiness: Study current local, state, and national policies and programs that improve student achievement in reading and mathematics, with an emphasis on “early readiness” in grades preK-5. Make recommendations to ensure every student has a strong academic foundation in reading and math.
  • Testing Reform: Review the state's current development and phase-in of the STAAR test redesign and ongoing innovative assessment reforms, including the Texas Through-Year Assessment Pilot (TTAP). Recommend ways to accelerate current testing improvement efforts and the development of a real-time testing program that meets the educational needs of Texas students.
    COVID-19 Funding Oversight: Examine and report on COVID-19 how public schools spent federal funds since the beginning of the pandemic, including funds received under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), with a dual focus on demonstrated improved student outcomes and efficient use of taxpayer funds.
  • Monitoring: Monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the Senate Committee on Education passed by the 88th Legislature, as well as relevant agencies and programs under the committee's jurisdiction. Specifically, make recommendations for any legislation needed to improve, enhance, or complete implementation of the following:
    • measures ensuring public school safety;
    • oversight of public school library procurement and content policies; and
    • high-quality instructional materials and open-educational resources for public schools.

Patrick also tasked the State Affairs Committee with studying the impact of social media use on children, including the implementation of House Bill 18 in 2023, which protects minors from harmful, deceptive, or unfair trade practices in connection with the use of certain digital services and electronic devices, including the use and transfer of electronic devices to students by a public school.